Australia’s manufacturing industry was ranked the 12th fastest growing sector in the country in 2020, turning over $397.3bn per year and averaging profit margins of 6.6%. As the industry continues to grow and the Australian government prioritises investment in the Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI), manufacturers will need to ensure they don’t compromise quality or profits to accommodate growing demand.
It’s a battle. As a manufacturer, you know how important it is to deliver a quality product on time, and in a cost-effective and sustainable way that fully delights your customers. By the same token, as a business owner, it’s likely that you prioritise the growth and relevance of your business, while keeping a close eye on whether or not your business is making money.
It all comes down to efficiency. Efficiency relates to the amount of time that manufacturers spend making good-quality products at the right speed, and with the right amount of labour, energy and material inputs.
In this article, Vince Giovanniello, experienced manufacturing expert and Managing Director of BlueRock’s second Melbourne office, outlines the processes involved in achieving sustainable growth and profit maximisation through efficiency, and how these factors can help you get to Gold-Star Manufacturing status.
What are the Common Challenges of Manufacturing Operations?
Regardless of your industry, business size, or business lifecycle stage, there are some common things you likely experience when it comes to managing your manufacturing operations. They roughly fall into 2 categories: the things you can plan for and those pesky scenarios that pop up in day-to-day manufacturing operations...just to annoy you.
Planned Manufacturing Events
Planned events may include activities such as:
- Setting up or programming machines
- Cleaning up after a production run
- Performing a product or size changeover
Unplanned Manufacturing Events
Unplanned events may include activities such as:
- A machine motor seizing
- Stopping a process because input materials are not ready or available
- Wrapping material jamming up during production
These unexpected events not only result in a loss of time, but also introduce the need for unplanned interventions into your daily processes to rectify the errors. Fixing broken machinery and equipment wastes both product and time, and also places your employees at risk if they’re required to fix the machinery themselves.
The impact of both planned and unplanned events on efficiency can be huge. But with careful planning and some solid advice, you can achieve Gold-Star Manufacturing status.
What is Gold-Star Manufacturing?
Once your business is at the stage where it maintains a stable efficiency with minimal unplanned events, you’re on track to obtaining a level of Gold-Star Manufacturing.
Gold-Star Manufacturing is achieved when your business:
- Generates less waste
- Delivers quality products to customers on time
- Keeps your employees safe because they are required to intervene less in unplanned events
- Has a positive footprint on our planet
There are 5 tips to our Manufacturing Gold-Star:
Getting Your Business to Gold-Star Manufacturing Level
To get your company to a level of Gold-Star Manufacturing, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you know the efficiency of your company’s operations on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis?
- Do you know the percentage of your company’s planned and unplanned events on a daily, weekly or monthly basis?
If you answered ‘yes’ to the above questions, we strongly encourage you to get in touch with our Melbourne-based manufacturing consultants to discuss how you can improve the overall efficiency of your operations and create a strategic action plan. If you answered ‘no’ to the above questions, our experts can assist you in measuring variables within your business to identify easy wins and provide clear business insights for better decision making.
Here at BlueRock, we have a deep network of multidisciplinary practice advisors with years of industry experience. Get in touch with our manufacturing team today to find out how our experts can help support your journey to achieving Gold-Star Manufacturing status.