Whether you’re in the food industry or you’re producing cosmetics, when you’re ready to expand your business, you’ve got to upgrade your production process to keep up. However, that can be a daunting challenge. When you’re ready to grow your small business to operate and compete on a national level, here are some ideas to increase your production.
Since you started, you’ve probably worked on decreasing your products’ production time. However, integrating assembly lines into your set up can be a huge time saver, especially if you’re multiplying your output.
Look at how you make your product and break it down into simple steps—mixing this set of ingredients, fastening these pieces, pouring that mold—and set up a station to handle each small step. The employees at each station will become specialized in that piece of the process and will increase their speed as they do that step over and over. Because employees won’t be switching between tasks, you will also lose the time it takes them to reorganize, further decreasing production times.
Making bigger batches is a huge part of increasing your production rates, but you need to make sure your equipment can handle it. This is when you might want to upgrade your equipment. Bigger equipment may seem to be a large and unnecessary expense at first, but mixing by hand or with handheld implements will limit how large you can make each batch. If you can’t make enough batches each day to keep up with orders, your business will suffer.
Upgrading to larger silicone mixing equipment and other machinery can help you increase your supply to meet the increased demand. The same machines come in many different sizes to help you match your equipment to your needs. Make sure that you aren’t trying to put too much in a machine lacking the capacity. Not only can it cause workplace hazards, but it can also cause the machinery to wear out too quickly, requiring frequent repairs and even replacement.
While you’re trying to keep up with your customers’ demands, it may be that your supplier is struggling to keep up with your demands. While a small supplier may have worked when you were operating on a smaller scale, they won’t be able to meet your needs when your business grows if they haven’t grown too. In that case, it may be time to switch to a larger supplier.
Larger suppliers have many advantages including larger service areas and a wider range of services and products. You may also be able to buy from them in bulk, which can lower your overall costs.
There are many places where you can automate your production process, and as technology evolves, more and more businesses are evolving with it. To compete, you’ll likely have to do the same.
While many people first think of conveyor belts and automated assembly machines, and that is certainly an area you can explore, one of the easiest areas to automate your process is inventory. You can set up inventory programs to count your supplies and products. These programs will also order new supplies when you’re running low and can alert you to products that aren’t getting bought. It’s a good idea to start with simple measures like these and work your way up to more advanced automation systems.
When your business is ready to grow, you need to know how to handle and support that growth. It’s vital that you upgrade your production systems to match customer demand, otherwise, your business could be in danger. Take these steps to improve your production process and increase your output for greater success in the future.
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing.