If you’re running a workshop, chances are, you already know that it’s no walk in the park. Operating a workshop requires dedication and hard work, or you’ll be flooded with delays, losses, and complaints from dissatisfied customers. Big-brothering your workshop, however, will not get you far without a focused attempt on gaining efficiency.
Improving efficiency is a must to keep your operations running smoothly and reduce the amount of time – and stress – you spend in directing your workshop’s activities. All this while improving your bottom line.
Improving efficiency isn’t only about getting jobs done on time. It’s about meeting your deadlines and satisfying your customers’ needs in a cost-efficient manner.
Berlex Industrial is a firm believer in the constant need to improve efficiency in workshops. Read on to learn some of our solutions.
Understand every detail of your operation
Do you know the average time it takes to perform a job, or how the inventory of parts is tracked in your workshop? Do your workers know where to find the parts they need? Do you have sufficient storage that’s easily accessed by the right people?
Knowing how your workshop runs from top to bottom and inside-out gives you better visibility on how and where things can be improved. A few simple steps can help you get started:
- Look into how you are currently monitoring workhours, manpower, jobs, supplies, tools, and other assets
- Identify the areas where improvements can be made. Are you accurately tracking the costs involved in completing a job? Are inventories adequately monitored and managed? Do workers spend an inordinate amount of time finding the parts they need?
- Devise solutions to address your workshop’s weaknesses. Perhaps you need a better monitoring system to minimize stock outs or an improved layout with ample and accessible storage. Solutions can present themselves when you have a clear understanding of the problem. If you need expert help, call Berlex Industrial.
Improve manpower planning
Understand the seasonality of your operations and plan to staff accordingly. Always allow for sick days, vacations, and absences. Manage manpower with your workshop’s maximum output in mind.
Take a hard look at your staff’s abilities. Not everyone will be on the same level. Provide training opportunities not only to boost individual skills and knowledge, but also to keep your staff updated with current trends, technologies, and best practices. Keep in mind that these things change all the time. To stay competitive, you have to make sure you’re able to adapt to changes.
Manpower planning goes to effective scheduling, as does inventory management. There has to be a balance of having the required materials on hand when they’re needed and minimizing obsolete and excess inventory.
Waiting on parts, particularly when you don’t know when you’ll actually get them, is wasting precious time and manpower – two of your greatest resources.
For efficient inventory control, you need to:
- Forecast usage as accurately as possible based on historical trends
- Have reliable sources
- Know lead times and plan for contingencies
- Have reliable information on real-time availability of parts
- Put a replenishment system in place
Make your job cards work for you
Job cards can do more than just outlining the tasks for the day. They can serve as accurate records for the man-hours, materials, equipment, and other assets used for a particular job. They should also provide your workers with accurate and detailed instructions to avoid mistakes and confusion.