Small ways of improving productivity

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When it comes to production, manufacturing companies seek whatever means necessary to expedite processes as much as possible. This allows businesses to complete more orders, earn more work and increase profits. Enterprise resource planning software can greatly aid in improving productivity in several different ways. These include streamlining and tracking orders, reporting completed jobs and organizing the warehouse in a way that minimizes the time moving goods from place to place. Along with using an effective solution such as a Microsoft Dynamics implementation, there are other small ways of increasing worker productivity that don’t require software implementations, though ERP can help enhance them.

Leaning in, managing resources
One manufacturing process that has been shown to improve productivity by several metrics is lean manufacturing. Based on practices developed by Toyota in the 1980s, lean manufacturing targets wasteful processes in production and eliminates them from or mitigates them in daily operations. They can be about certain practices in cutting alloys for use in the chassis of automobiles or airplanes. The system is very complex and includes several guidelines and rules that can take months to implement like an ERP solution.

However, at least one or two practices can be integrated into daily business operations in time. One of them is standardizing work. According to, standardizing work is already established with automakers, but they can also be applied outside the production process. For example, in inventory management, a standard procedure could be implemented where an alert to make a restocking order can be made when supplies for a part run low, so as to ensure the part is available during periods of high demand. With a proper ERP implementation, this can all be automated and even the supply order can be made instantly.

In relation to parts, proper resource management of raw materials and energy can be a practice that allows productivity to improve. By focusing on processes that waste energy, as McKinsey recommends, businesses can save time and reduce costs overall. Even making small adjustments can make a major difference in creating savings and making work more efficient. In one dramatic example, a steel mill in China saved $1.2 million per year simply by lowering a leveling bar a couple inches, cutting down energy costs by decreasing the amount of effort needed to lower the bar. ERP can deliver reports that can be analyzed for these inefficiencies, so as to deliver possible changes.

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