Hitting the Conveyor Belt Running! The 4 Fundamentals of Leading a Small Manufacturing Business
Many people may believe that running a manufacturing business is similar to running any other type of business. Small manufacturing businesses have become more common in the small business landscape and becoming a small business manufacturer has become more accessible in recent years. Therefore, it’s important to have an understanding of some of the best manufacturing business practices out there. Here are some useful tools so you can hit the ground (or the conveyor belt) running.
Know the Value of Your Supplier
You will work with many suppliers, and one of the biggest lessons any manufacturer can learn at the outset is to separate the good from the bad. Many people believe that operating with a view to cutting costs is the best approach. However, suppliers that are more suitable for your business needs are more valuable than those that are offering cut prices.
Companies like Approved Hydraulics can be invaluable in a manufacturing environment because they provide a wealth of different materials, but also do it within budget. You can always negotiate with your suppliers so you can have a better relationship with them and a far more cost-effective approach, but you need to judge the value of a good supplier. A good supplier is worth their weight in gold.
Prioritise Supply Chain Management
It is vital to invest time in making sure that your overseas shipping and suppliers are watertight. Understanding that emergencies can occur which may lead to the breakdown of the supply chain is vital.
School yourself in the worst-case scenarios and you will be better equipped to deal with these problems before they happen. There are always alternatives. For example, you could have alternative suppliers, have safety stock, or you can store stock off-site.
Focus on Lean Inventory
Lean inventory is a methodology originating in Japan that could do a lot for your productivity. When you start to understand the fundamentals of lean inventory practice, as detailed by Linnworks, you will see the difference in productivity mindset and a cleaner environment.
High-Quality Employment Practices
Ensuring that you are communicating with your employees is one component but you need to ensure that you are investing in yourself in the right ways. Any business leader needs to be adept in communication but you need to make sure your employees feel comfortable in an environment where there is potentially a lot of equipment floating around. Additionally, you can provide opportunities for learning and training so you can fill in any skills gaps and minimise employee turnover.
Additionally, you may want to look at attracting the right type of talent to your business. Using apprenticeships or internships can make a big difference, because this is going to be a very useful alternative, especially for those people who cannot afford to go to university. Ultimately if you focus on keeping your employees safe and stimulated in the right environment by providing a framework for them to progress, you will see a massive difference in the quality of your environment.
Manufacturing is one of those things that are not just for the big businesses anymore. So many people are setting up small businesses that are focused on manufacturing. Therefore, if you want to make a big difference, some of these rules will be invaluable.