Manufacturing & Production Best Practices

Proven Manufacturing & Production Leading Practices to Adopt

  • Best Practices (#52) / Manufacturing & Production / Production Planning

    Best Practice (Good)
    Apply the just-in-time (JIT) principle as a management system to help regulate both the space and amount of components and finished products kept on hand at all times. This requires having exactly the right quantity of components at the right time to fulfill orders.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Manufacture and assemble products from a pool of excess components stored on site and keep a set amount of finished product on hand based on demand plans.
    Benefits: JIT manufacturing reduces amount of the cost and space requirements of storing components and finished products. Using these methods also allows facility space (square footage) to be used in a more efficient manner (and/or reduces the total amount of space needed).
  • Best Practices (#53) / Manufacturing & Production / Manufacturing Engineering

    Best Practice (Good)
    Develop and implement a preventative equipment maintenance plan that integrates simple preventative maintenance tasks into each frontline production employee’s job functions.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Allow specialized equipment maintenance employees to perform regularly scheduled maintenance activities. Do not use frontline production staff for routine and preventative maintenance related tasks.
    Benefits: Improves production uptime and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) by reducing equipment-related downtime. Also frees up equipment maintenance staff to work on more high-value, complicated tasks.
  • Best Practices (#54) / Manufacturing & Production / Manufacturing Engineering

    Best Practice (Good)
    Create a job function (or group) devoted solely to implementing proven manufacturing and production process improvement methods (such as Lean, value-stream mapping, Kaizen, 5S) in order to reduce waste and non-value added work.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Rely on front-line management and production facility directors to perform process design reviews as they see fit, allowing them to implement their preferred improvement methods and set success criteria for production efficiency.
    Benefits: Reduces operating costs while improving flow, product quality and customer service levels. Also creates a culture of continuous improvement by creating positions focused only on manufacturing process improvement.
  • Best Practices (#55) / Manufacturing & Production / Manufacturing & Assembly

    Best Practice (Good)
    Create a collaborative production process in which design engineers receive real-time feedback from manufacturing operations, which will allow them to improve designs immediately. In addition, make all customer demand data visible to manufacturing, procurement and design staff.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Allow design engineers to adjust manufacturing operations only after a finished product (or prototype) is produced. Publish customer demand data only to directly relevant staff and do so in different formats at different times.
    Benefits: Improves manufacturing efficiency and overall product quality and also aligns production strategy directly with customer demand.
  • Best Practices (#56) / Manufacturing & Production / Manufacturing & Assembly

    Best Practice (Good)
    Allow complicated or low-value components to be manufactured off site by a third-party vendor whenever possible. Brief vendors on internal production processes, so that they can ensure that the component is immediately ready for incorporation into the finished product when it is received.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Manufacture and assemble all components of the product in house to control quality and cost. Use third-party component manufacturers only when the part needed is beyond the capabilities of the company's manufacturing facilities.
    Benefits: Reduces production costs by cutting down on defects per product produced, and allows complicated components to be manufactured by a vendor with related expertise, both of which improve overall product quality.
  • Best Practices (#57) / Manufacturing & Production / Manufacturing & Assembly

    Best Practice (Good)
    Construct manufacturing and assembly instructions using a collaborative knowledge bank from the engineering and design teams, but also shop floor staff. Shop floor staff is regularly in proximity to equipment and have a more intimate perspective of the process.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Use historical manufacturing processes and knowledge from engineering and design teams to derive work instructions. Once adopted, instructions are implemented by manufacturing and assembly without possibility of revision unless changes to relevant assembly variables (i.e., equipment, product) are made.
    Benefits: Encouraging a free exchange of information between both the people who design products and who manufacture and assemble them will allow issues related to work interruption and downtime, as well as opportunities for streamlining, to be identified more effectively.
  • Best Practices (#50) / Manufacturing & Production / Production Planning

    Best Practice (Good)
    Use historical manufacturing data (materials used, average cycle time, labor costs, equipment downtime) in conjunction with demand forecasts and sales or marketing initiative schedules to plan and strategize for future production scheduling and management.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Use historical manufacturing data only for production scheduling and management. Allow sales, marketing and other functions to use their own data sets to produce insights.
    Benefits: Improves accuracy and effectiveness of production schedules and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).
  • Best Practices (#51) / Manufacturing & Production / Production Planning

    Best Practice (Good)
    Use a labor management and capacity planning algorithm, taking into account factors such as advanced shipment notification (ASN) quantities, actual demand and facility budgets, to staff up and down based on hourly capacity requirements.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Use demand forecasts (and related data) and rely on the expertise of front-line management and facility directors to develop a staffing model for the production facility, as well as distribution centers and warehouses.
    Benefits: Reduces staffing cost and ensures that the production facility and any related distribution centers are staffed in conjunction with actual, hourly-based workloads and demands (increases employee utilization).
  • Best Practices (#58) / Manufacturing & Production / Facility Management

    Best Practice (Good)
    Keep all factory employees (front-line workers, managers, marketing team) updated on steps being taken to improve energy efficiency, and provide tips on energy efficiency best practices.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Brief all facility management staff and only key stakeholders on steps being taken (initiatives, process improvements, etc.) to improve energy efficiency within the production facility.
    Benefits: Ensures that all team members are aware of identified tweaks to work activities that can reduce facility energy costs.
  • Best Practices (#59) / Manufacturing & Production / Facility Management

    Best Practice (Good)
    Allow maintenance and operations staff to tour the facility multiple times during construction to become familiar with the building and its utility systems before they are concealed with finishes. Staff gains experience handling issues that may arise within the facility and are trained on the building systems and their operation months before building occupancy occurs.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Introduce staff to new production operation facilities only after new facilities are complete. Do not allow relevant staff (i.e., maintenance, operations) to view pre-finished facilities, so staff must work solely off of documents when going about their duties and addressing issues.
    Benefits: Problems that arise during construction which might impede operations are identified and resolved before occupancy. The facility is inspected from a maintenance and operations perspective, allowing for innovation and suggestions that could be implemented to make the facility more efficient.
  • Best Practices (#60) / Manufacturing & Production / Quality Assurance

    Best Practice (Good)
    Analyze quality based on scope, time and cost impact to the project. When managing competing requirements, evaluate how a change in one constraint affects one or both of the remaining two constraints.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Create a rigorous list of product quality expectations and ensure that units being produced meet each of those expectations, regardless of additional cost or actual customer expectations.
    Benefits: Helps the project team to understand the costs and benefits of applying a particular level of quality and ensures that product quality expectations are not customer "over-serves".
  • Best Practices (#61) / Manufacturing & Production / Quality Assurance

    Best Practice (Good)
    Create retraining and continuous learning programs to generate cross-functional quality assurance teams to increase competency in more than one manufacturing capacity.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Train new staff for their specified position and once initial training is completed, assign staff to a team. Each team works on their own set step within the quality assurance process independently.
    Benefits: Ensures all team members are familiar with each stage in the quality assurance process so that defects can be identified earlier on in the process. Cross-training makes personnel interchangeable and fosters an adaptable company culture.

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