In the manufacturing industry, production is all about efficiency and speed. However, there comes a point where basic tactics no longer work and you’re stuck with lead times that just won’t cut it in order to stay competitive. That’s when you have to look for new ways to reduce lead times. This can come in the form of new techniques, new suppliers, or even technological advancements.
Regardless of the method in which it is done, reducing lead times is crucial to business performance and stay competitive in the marketplace. In this post, we’ll explain some ways to reduce lead times in various industries that go beyond just improving workflow. Hopefully, these tips will be just what is necessary to put your business on top.
Focus on Your Supply Chain
Your supply chain is pretty much the lifeline of your business. The better acquainted you are, the more you can reduce your lead times. There are numerous performance enhancements to your supply chain that you can make to improve production speed and reduce lead times. One of the most simple changes is to embrace automation where you can. This means automating inventory management, ordering, shipping, and transport.
You should also consider consolidating suppliers down as far as you can and focusing on domestic suppliers to speed up order times. Increasing order frequency can also help in this regard.
Develop Complex Molds That Can Create More Detailed Products Quickly
This tip is exactly as it sounds. The more complex items you can manufacture from molds, the faster you can get from manufacturing to shipping to customers. Investing in complex molds for products can shave weeks off of your lead time and increase your business by a significant amount because of it.
To think of it logically, if you can think of a routine way to create something complicated and the process speeds up significantly as a result, then you are able to do more business because you are not stuck on the same project for a long period of time.
Focus On Streamlining Operations Outside of Production
Essentially this final tip is about going over your business practices from the moment an order comes in up until production starts. What are some common-sense steps you can take to improve lead times?
This can be anything from reducing or eliminating the number of errors in the production process to increase the actual capacity of products you can create at one time. The important part is that you evaluate all your processes, not just your manufacturing to see where you can shave time.
This will ultimately give you the edge you need to stay ahead in business.