How To Reduce End Of Year Chaos In The Factory

As we all know, the end of year rush always brings its challenges with it! Too many goods to get out the door, staff having to work overtime to fulfil customer requirements. Machine break downs just when you really could do without them, and then to crown it all, some of your workers are having to take sick leave due to repetitive strain injuries.

Then the end of year arrives, we all take our well-earned breaks and by January, the chaos of December has been forgotten. Life settles back into a sensible pace and production carries on as usual but, before we know it, the end of the year is upon us again and we’re back in the whirlwind of chaos. It’s a difficult cycle to break…


So How Do You Break Free From This End Of Year Whirlwind?

There are many contributing factors here that need to be considered, some are internal influences and some external. In order to bring calm to the chaos, it is important to be able to identify what exactly is causing the chaos. Take a step back, start to look at where the main bottleneck is in the workflow. If you are not familiar with identifying bottlenecks in the workflow you may find this article useful . Once you have identified the bottleneck it is important that you do everything you can to exploit the bottleneck, and to ensure that the bottleneck machine or process is working to maximum efficiency. You will likely find that as you fix one bottleneck, another bottleneck arises. However, this is to be expected, and identifying bottlenecks in your process should be a continuous process as it allows for continuous improvement.


What If My Bottleneck Is People?

If you’re bottleneck relates to people, it is important to analyse why. Is the production stopping whilst they have breaks? Is the production rate slowing as their shift draws to an end? Is RSI causing an issue?

There are many questions that can be asked, and it is also very important to be get answers to these questions, as with an accurate understanding of why people are causing a bottleneck, you are half way to finding a solution.

Sometimes your solution can be as simple as introducing methods to boost your staff morale and keep the pace up, whereas other times it may be more beneficial to introduce automated systems to increase productivity and to re-deploy your staff to more profitable roles throughout your company.


How Do I know How Productive My Processes Are?

Knowing how productive your machinery or processes are plays a very important part in being able to increase your throughput. If you measure and keep a record of your efficiencies, you will quickly be able to see how changes you have made as a result of exploiting bottlenecks have affected your overall productivity. To help you with this, we’re created a couple of calculators


Now you can look forward to a calm and prosperous year end next year!

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