In the world of industrial operations, efficiency and productivity are paramount to success.
One of the key drivers of success in any factory is effective shop floor management. Among its many advantages, effective shop floor management helps you optimise your processes, use your resources effectively, and foster a culture of continuous improvement.
In today’s blog, we talk about:
- What is shop floor management?
- Why is it important?
- Tips to manage your shop floor efficiently
- Consequences of bad shop floor management
- mlean® & Shop Floor Management
Let’s dig in!
What is shop floor management?
Shop floor management is the methodical approach you need to take to manage and supervise everything that happens on your factory’s floor.
When you deal with floor management, you’re dealing with organising tasks, coordinating workflows, and ensuring smooth operations within the production chain.
The primary goal of shop floor management is to standardise and streamline processes, reduce waste, and maximise output while maintaining product quality and employee safety.
Why is shop floor management important?
To have an effective grip on your production chain, your shop floor management needs to flow effortlessly and efficiently.
This point is important for a good number of reasons:
You get a safer work environment — Shop floor management involves regular safety inspections and implementing safety protocols. Prioritising safety ensures a secure working environment for your employees, reducing accidents and downtime.
Productivity goes up — Effective shop floor management optimises your processes, which leads to higher productivity levels. This means that you can produce more goods in less time, ultimately translating into increased profits.
Your resources work smarter for you — By closely monitoring resource allocation, shop floor management ensures that raw materials, machinery, and labour are used as efficiently as possible. This reduces unnecessary expenses and helps your factory remain competitive in the current market.
Better quality control enters your factory — A well-managed shop floor pays very close attention to quality control, reducing defects and improving overall product quality. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and increased customer loyalty.
Your response to changes improves — With effective shop floor management, your factory becomes more adaptable to changes in demand, market conditions, or unforeseen challenges. This means you remain competitive where your competitors don’t.
Tips to manage your shop floor efficiently
Managing your shop floor is one thing, but managing it effectively is something hard to achieve sometimes.
And taking into account that managing your floor efficiently can make or break your whole business, it’s paramount that you know how to ensure your shop floor management is second to none.
We’ve put together some tips to help you do this. Let’s take a look:
Standardise your processes
This is one of the most important tips to ensure your shop floor is running smoothly.
Firstly, you create standardised operating procedures for each task on the shop floor.
This ensures consistency in output and reduces the risk of error.
Implement 5S consistently
The 5S methodology is crucial for effective shopfloor management.
Implementing it can significantly improve safety, organisation, and efficiency on the shop floor.
Set clear goals
Setting clear goals is crucial to your being able to monitor whether your processes are effective or need adjustment.
The best goals to set are SMART, as in specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.
Remember that these goals need to align with the overall objectives of your factory for maximum impact.
Apply visual management
There are many different ways of implementing visual management. Some of the ones we like the best are:
- Kanban boards
- Andon systems
- Process flow charts
These tools give you real-time information about your tasks and employees, making it easier to track progress and identify bottlenecks.
Train your people the right way
The best way to make sure your shop floor runs like clockwork is to train your employees properly.
We suggest investing in training your line managers and shop floor employees on best practices, safety protocols, and problem-solving techniques. This encourages them to take ownership of their tasks and suggest improvements.
Technology can help you automate processes, monitor performance, and gather data, so get comfortable using it!
Advanced manufacturing technologies like the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and machine learning bring valuable insights for decision-making.
Continuous improvement tools —such as mlean® Production System— are a great way to digitalise your factory’s operations and connect everybody from shop floor to office, ensuring greater control, profitability, and efficiency.
Consequences of bad shop floor management
Effective shop floor management has many advantages, and equally, bad shop floor management brings with it some serious problems, such as:
Decreased productivity — When your shop floor is poorly managed, inefficiencies and low productivity levels creep up, leading to reduced output and missed deadlines.
Wastage and higher costs — If you don’t manage your resources effectively, you run the risk of facing higher wastage of raw materials, increased energy consumption, and higher production costs.
Compromised quality — If there aren’t any supervision and quality control measures around, the quality of your products may suffer, leading to customer complaints and reputational damage.
Safety risks — Neglecting safety protocols can lead to accidents, injuries, and potential legal liabilities for your factory.
Inflexibility to change — Factories with poor shop floor management may struggle to adapt to market fluctuations or new demands, limiting their competitiveness and all-around profitability.
mlean® and Shop Floor Management
Shop floor management can determine the success or failure of your factory.
By focusing on efficiency, resource optimisation, and workplace safety, you’ll enhance productivity and product quality while gaining a key competitive advantage.
Getting there requires a commitment to continuous improvement and the use of modern technologies to monitor and analyse performance. And we have the perfect tool for this.
Our Shop Floor Management software helps you manage your operations efficiently, helping your factory stand ready to pull through even in the most turbulent market conditions.
If you want to optimise your factory’s operations and improve efficiency, schedule a demo with our experts.
We’ll help you transform your shop floor into a well-oiled machine ready to both maximise your existing operations and adapt to future innovations.
Get a free demo today and take a look!