[Part 1] 10 Tips to Boost Productivity in your Factory

I am receiving several industry newsletters and just received a great one on the topic of productivity.

It was originally written by Alain Albert, Industry Advisor with FP Innovations for wood product manufacturers, but the tips apply to any industry. Below you will find first 5 tips, other 5 will follow next week.

  1. Measure

You’ve heard the quote often enough: “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”. It’s really true, so figure out what’s important to you right now and start measuring. As you move forward, the measurements are going to start to mean something and show you where to go. You may need to adjust your measurements along the way so keep in mind that measurements are only good if there’s a goal in mind.

  1. Plan

If you want to stay right where you are, then stop complaining otherwise make a plan. You can be sure that change will not happen unless you are actively pursuing it and that means that you have to formulate a plan. Don’t worry, the exercise of making a plan is more important than the plan itself. In fact, your plan can change along the way, it’s OK. Write your plan down and start building your new future.

  1. Communicate

Chances are that you don’t work alone so it’s important that you establish a good communication platform with your team, especially if you’re the one who knows the plan… If you’re the leader of your organization, then you’re also the teacher, the preacher, the psychologist and the cheerleader so speak your mind often, coach, and train your team to make sure that they know exactly where you’re going next. Visual communication works best.

  1. Work as a team

Do you want automatons in your factory that leave their brains at the door and punch the clock day in and day out? If not, be prepared to let them make decisions and make changes to the process. If you’ve done a good job communicating the plan and showing them the measurements, then trust your workers to do their jobs. Engaged workers working as a team will get you where you want to go, not micro-managers and knowledge-hoarders.

  1. Simplify

Have you ever noticed how people who are really good at something make it seem so simple? That’s because they have distilled their skills to the simplest form and that is really hard to do. Strive to simplify every process and don’t be scared to question long standing traditions. It’s not because something has always been done a certain way that you can’t change it now. The benefit is that after you’ve worked hard at making something simple, then anyone can do it well.”

Igor Chigrin

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P.S. Stay tuned, next week we will publish the other 5 tips. Keep in mind that there is government funding to help boost your productivity. Just click on the link or contact us to discuss them.