Eliminating poor manufacturing quality is key to reducing costs. Tangible benefits of improving manufacturing include reducing scrap, improving labor efficiency, and speeding up production time.
A team approach is far more effective than focusing on individual performance when implementing lasting and impactful changes. A variety of perspectives should be considered. Multiple processes should be examined. It is important to look at process history to ascertain why things are done a certain way, and what may have been tried before.
Having a thought-out, organized strategy to promote quality in your processes leads to significant and sustainable improvements. Below are three ideas for improving manufacturing.
1) Consider What Quality Means to the Customer
A standard of quality needs to be defined in order to improve a product. The best way to develop a desirable product is to establish this standard, based on the needs and wants of the customer. You must not push the product price point beyond a desirable level for your target market when considering increasing costs to improve product quality. Appointing someone in your organization to represent the customer perspective helps define the proper balance of quality, performance, and cost efficiency.
2) Find and Implement Total Quality Management
Often manufacturing solutions are based on fixing failures, rather than with an eye for total quality management. Additional inspection and rework stations can address defects. But these measures do not rectify the root problem. Analysis and correction of source problems involves more intensive effort and time. On the other hand, your investment can result in the development of true total quality management that prevents the issue from repeating.
3) Outsource Specialized Processes to Equipped and Capable Suppliers
Some manufacturing processes can be improved by advanced technological capabilities. New flexible fabrication systems offer unprecedented quality and cost efficiency. However, a single process may not justify the cost of purchasing equipment or maintaining the skilled labor necessary to operate it. An experienced, capable manufacturing partner can provide access to advanced systems, without the burden of ownership.
Interested in more ideas for improving manufacturing and reducing costs? Winston Manufacturing is your source for flexible solutions. Contact us to discuss your project.