Manufacturers Shifting to Make-to-Order Due to Supply Chain Disruptions and Consumer Demands
October 5th 2021 11:00:00 AM
Clear communication between departments is necessary for a successful make-to-order production strategy. For example, the maintenance team knows that a changeover takes two hours. The scheduler has allotted only half that time for the task. Production will not run on schedule unless both departments can get on the same page about the actual time needed.
Frequent changeovers mean your team needs to be even more diligent about tracking your equipment’s performance. This job requires more oversight than a checklist can provide. The data needs real-time updates to ensure teams are coordinating information and parts are available when needed.
2. Ask employees to share their ideas for improvement.
Manufacturing floor and warehouse workers are a great source of information about increasing efficiency.
Set up a virtual suggestion box for employees to share their ideas with management.
Conduct employee surveys to ask for input.
Encourage workers to connect with management via email or chat directly to discuss their ideas.
The employees closest to the process can often suggest minor changes that will make the system more efficient.
3. Minimize downtime during changeovers.
Ideally, you want to have either a processing or a packaging line running when your facility is operational. A way to accomplish this goal is to schedule your packaging lines to start during production. The packaging lines can continue when the production line has stopped for cleaning. When packaging is complete, you can start running the next SKU.
4. Set up a preventive maintenance schedule.
Don’t just keep your equipment running until there is a problem. Schedule preventive maintenance checks before you have to deal with an equipment breakdown. At that point, you have no control over when the downtime happens.
5. Use inventory management software to track raw materials.
Shifting to a make-to-order approach means the way your business sources its raw materials also changes. It no longer makes sense to carry a large amount of stock in storage waiting for customers to place orders. Instead, your business will need to pivot its ordering to a just-in-time delivery schedule. Ideally, your facility will receive raw materials shortly before they are needed. The goal is to minimize the time they sit in your warehouse.
Scanco Production Management Solutions Help Your Business Maximize Efficiency
Scanco has manufacturing automation solutions for businesses of all sizes, from small and medium-sized companies to enterprise operations. We know that each manufacturer has its unique challenges trying to get quality products to customers on time. Scanco also knows that automation is the key to increasing productivity and boosting your bottom line.
Contact us online or call (330) 645-9959 to make an appointment with a Scanco Solutions Expert to take the next step now.