Building a new factory is no simple task. Before you launch into the project, read these tips to make sure you’re staying on track.
Optimize Your Floorplan
The layout of your new factory has a major impact on the way that work gets done. When you’re in the early stages of construction, you have complete control over where equipment is placed and how the new workflow will be established.
You can optimize your floorplan for specific advantages that will help over your factory’s lifetime. Think about whether speed, efficiency, or quality of work is more important for the specific good you create. Then, place equipment to make it happen.
Get in Touch with Suppliers
If you form strong relationships with suppliers while your factory is still young, you’ll be able to get better deals when your business starts to boom. Reach out to multiple suppliers as soon as you know that you’ll need their product. Compare prices and deals; then, select a supplier who offers both a good price and a great attitude. A friendly working relationship and a reliable delivery schedule will help keep your new factory running even when market values change.
Stock Up on Equipment Accessories
When you first buy a piece of new manufacturing equipment, the last thing you want to think about is potential equipment failure. But work always causes equipment to wear down, and you’ll save more money if you’re already prepared.
Make a list of the most commonly replaced parts on each piece of new equipment. Get industrial seals for your rotary shafts, and purchase spare coils for any heating elements or electric parts. If you already have the replacement items in stock, you can fix problems immediately and avoid losing valuable production time.
Hang on to Good Employees
You might hire temporary employees to help during construction. If any of them stand out, see if you can find them a position in the completed factory. Management skills and a good work ethic can transfer easily between positions. More importantly, a worker who has watched the factory grow from the ground up will be just as invested as you are; if they mesh well with your company values, treat them like an asset that you can’t afford to lose.
Plan for the Long Term
A new factory can take years to complete. Don’t set yourself an impossible deadline; instead, plan for the worst-case scenario, and be pleasantly surprised when you end up ahead of schedule.
Part of your plan should include the possibility of a change in the local workforce. The best way to combat this is to place your factory near a convenient transportation access point. If you end up recruiting workers who need to commute, remember to compensate them appropriately. Good employees are always worth the extra cost.
It’s impossible to anticipate every problem that you’ll face as a new factory overseer. Remember that small issues are a sign that you’re actually accomplishing something; if you handle things in stride, you’ll only find profit on the other side.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.