Being in charge of a production facility is more challenging than it appears on the outside. It’s not just about the complexity of your daily tasks, either. There is a lot of planning and critical analysis that goes into this type of work, and you have to always be one step ahead of your current situation if you want to avoid getting into trouble in the future.
Expanding a production facility is something you should never do on the go. You must always have a detailed plan for how you’re going to approach that process so that you can be ready when the time comes. Many companies end up suffering greatly – in some cases even to the point of failure – simply because they never planned ahead for their future expansions.
No Plan Will Work Out Perfectly
That said, the most important thing to keep in mind when coming up with your plan of action is to be flexible. Many factors will play into this, and you can’t predict them all ahead of time. Instead, you should design your plans in a way that you can easily change important details about them in the course of implementation. This is something that comes with a lot of experience, so if you don’t have that yourself, make sure that you’re working with the right people in your team.
Prioritize the Right Equipment
You must also understand the needs of your facility, both in the immediate sense as well as in the future. Investing in a good case packer might be a better idea than increasing your storage capacity, for example. Keep in mind that these are also factors that are susceptible to change over a longer term. Don’t over invest in a certain area if you can’t afford to take that financial hit later on. Make sure that you warn your employees well in advance about any new tech being deployed as well. Messing up peoples established working routines can impact your facility’s productivity in a very bad way.
Training Is Critical
Speaking of your employees, that’s another point many facility managers fail to consider until it’s too late. It’s not just about installing new machines and bringing them up – it’s also important that you have people on site who know how to use those machines in the first place. Training for any new equipment should be handled in an organized manner that allows the entire workforce to be brought up to date in a timely manner. Forcing people to learn new things at the last moment, especially when it comes to operating heavy equipment, is a recipe for disaster.
Many of these decisions will be easier to approach if you’ve been collecting enough data about your operations over time. There’s a reason so many companies are investing so heavily in the area of data collection and analysis these days. It’s becoming a critical component of their operations, and it’s something that can completely transform your own company’s workflow if you take advantage of it correctly. Of course, doing that right is not very straightforward without access to the right specialists.