As companies continually come under fire for the environmental damage and waste that they produce, it’s becoming clear that some areas of operations are worse than others. Yet, while front-of-house teams are doing everything that they can to go paperless, support community initiatives, and so on, true offenders like manufacturing continue to do the damage that they always have in the business background.
Aside from harming the image that you’re trying to build if this ever came out, this can cost you a great deal if you don’t get around to reassessing manufacturing, too. In fact, estimates predict that $8 trillion worth of waste is produced across the manufacturing industry alone each year. This doesn’t make an ounce of business sense, especially when you consider that removing waste often means improving manufacturing processes overall. To prove as much, we’re going to consider just three of the best ways that you can stop wasting your time (and everyone else’s) on wasted manufacturing materials.
# 1 – Perfect inventory management
Poor inventory management can be a huge problem when it results in loss, decay, and damage that doesn’t even necessarily make it onto your books. By comparison, using previous sales data to better determine the stock that you’ll need for any given season, and taken steps to always keep track of that stock, can help you to operate with a more efficient just in time lean inventory much like those seen within the automotive world. As well as always keeping business costs low, the continual flow of stock levels that this enables ensures that products and materials are continually moving in and out without getting lost, damaged, or otherwise left for scrap.
# 2 – Reconsider your processes
Many manufacturing processes result in waste when things like product offshoots or unwanted materials are cast to one side. While this is a necessary and often unavoidable element of manufacturing, companies could benefit from reconsidering their processes with this in mind. For instance, it may be possible to use otherwise wasted offshoots on things like ‘wonky’ products. Equally, waste-reducing machines like the great quality Pug Mill mixers available from Thompson Rock Mixers make it possible to recycle and reclaim certain materials during the sorting process. In either instance, companies can save themselves significant time, money, and wastage by simply thinking outside of the box, and making sure that their processes keep up with that change.
# 3 – Implement preventative maintenance
Outdated systems and processes too often leave waste as a daily part of your reality. By comparison, preventative maintenance that involves continually assessing machinery, storage solutions, and so on is far more effective from a waste management perspective. This way, even as consumer consciousness and manufacturing processes evolve, you can ensure that your processes are always poised to help you watch out for waste, and address it wherever possible across your manufacturing warehouse.
While you might not be able to eliminate every last piece of waste from your manufacturing efforts, you can at least improve the situation as much as possible with these tips at hand.