Any business is going to have its challenges. Starting a factory is no different in that. However, in today’s technology-driven world, having a production line can be one of the most lucrative businesses to start up. Yet in these economically trying times, it can also vanish in a moment if you’re not constantly fighting for it. So prepare for that fight. Here are the three key areas you’re going to have to keep excelling at to keep a factory up and running.
Health & safety
If you look in a list of dangerous industries, you’re likely to find manufacturing somewhere on there. Personal risk is a fact of life. It can come from many areas. From machinery, poor safety gear, vehicles, hazardous materials and others. There’s no shortage of risk factors. But there is a need to be proactive in tackling them. Injuries are going to be a financial drain as well as a legal risk. So you need to do all you can to keep the environment as safe as you possibly can. Keep well stocked on safety equipment. Provide regular training. Arrange for PUWER assessments on your machinery. Don’t think it’s safe just to accept that risk is a part of the business. Do your utmost to make that not the case.
You’ll be saving money if you reduce the amount of accidents in the workplace, for sure. However, if you want to actually make money, then you need to take a closer look at how productive things actually are on the floor. Take the strategic approach laid out by the lean principles. Rearrange your factory floor. Eliminate as much waiting time and distance between different parts of the production process as you can. Eliminate anything that takes up space needlessly. Measure your progress by seeing how much you get done in a day and how much you lose. Perform regular maintenance on all your machinery, not just those that pose a personal risk. A successful factory owner is always looking for better results through efficiency.
Of course, you’re not just the only person involved in the process, either. Your workers are a big part of the business, so you need to make sure that they’re kept motivated and engaged. Factory workers, especially those qualified with cutting edge technology, have other prospects. You need to stop them from going to those prospects by providing an environment that sees to their needs. You need to offer them the reward and recognition for their hard work. You need to offer development and progression paths within the company as well as training. A great employer doesn’t just treat their staff like employees. They treat them like a team. Not only does that help with retention, but it contributes to more motivated, eager people.
Every business has some kind of struggle involved in it. Looking for an easy business isn’t how you succeed. Preparing for and overcoming your challenges is. We hope the points above help you overcome any challenge you find on the factory floor.