4 Tips To Organize Your Manufacturing SMB
Running a manufacturing small and medium-sized business (SMB) is no easy feat. With all the moving parts involved in the production process, it can be challenging to track everything. There are various elements to manage, from raw materials to the finished product. That’s why it’s crucial to have a well-organized manufacturing SMB.
Some entrepreneurs utilize the 5s method to put their businesses in order: sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. Hence, this method is excellent for organizing spaces and might not be enough for every manufacturing SMB. Yet don’t fret; there are plenty of solutions that can help you achieve organizational greatness.
To help you out, here are some helpful tips on how to organize your manufacturing SMB:
1. Keep track of your inventory
Your inventory is one of the most crucial aspects of your manufacturing SMB. After all, it contains the raw materials needed to create your products. If you can’t keep track of your inventory, you’ll have difficulty meeting customer demand. That said, a system in place to track your stock levels could be your best option.
Investing in inventory management software for SMBs or any other tracking system can be your key to a well-ordered business. You can set up alerts that’ll go off when your inventory is running low. Additionally, this software can help you track where your products are in production. This technology also automates many tasks associated with inventory management, such as order fulfillment and tracking shipments. More importantly, it provides data analytics that can help you forecast future inventory needs.
An organized business starts with knowing what you have in stock and where it is. Thus, keeping track of your inventory can take the first step in managing your manufacturing SMB effectively.
2. Stay on top of your production schedule
It’s no secret that the manufacturing process can be complex. With all the steps involved, tracking down where you’re in the production cycle can be challenging. That said, it’s essential to always stay on top of your production schedule.
If you’re unsure where to start, there are plenty of scheduling tools available online. Utilizing one of these tools can help you monitor everyone’s progress and ensure they meet deadlines. Moreover, it can be helpful to create a Gantt chart. This type of chart provides a visual representation of your production schedule. By clearly understanding your production process, you can avoid potential delays. This approach can boost organizational efficiency and help you get your products out the door on time.
3. Define the workflows
In any manufacturing SMB, there are going to be various workflows. If these workflows aren’t defined, it can lead to confusion and chaos. That’s why it’s essential to sit down and map out all of the workflows in your business. There are three primary types of workflows: process, case, and project.
Take the process workflow as an example. When a customer places an order, it goes through a series of steps before it’s completed. By outlining this process, you can ensure that each order is fulfilled correctly and promptly. Additionally, it’d be best if you also documented all of your business processes. This way, you can have a precise reference point for your team. If any changes need to be made, everyone will be on the same page. Having well-defined workflows can help keep your manufacturing SMB organized.
4. Delegate tasks and responsibilities appropriately
You have a lot on your plate as the owner or manager of a manufacturing SMB. While you might be tempted to take on everything yourself, this isn’t always the best option. You’ll need to delegate tasks and responsibilities to others at some point. Otherwise, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed, leading to disorganization.
The key is to delegate appropriately. You’ll need to consider the skills and experience of your team members. Of course, they have unique capabilities, so they must be assigned tasks they can handle. For example, you wouldn’t want to delegate a task like bookkeeping to an expert in the production process.
When delegating tasks, it’s also essential to provide clear instructions. Vague directions will only lead to confusion and frustration. So, take the time to write out detailed instructions for each task.
Finally, you’ll need to establish a system of accountability. This way, you can ensure that the task is carried out correctly and promptly. By delegating appropriately, you can free up your time and focus on other aspects of running your manufacturing SMB. This is an essential step in maintaining a well-organized business.
There you have it—helpful tips for organizing your manufacturing SMB. Of course, these are just a few ideas to get you started. Ultimately, it’ll be up to you to find the best methods for your specific business. But by following these tips, you can streamline your operations and keep your manufacturing SMB running like a well-oiled machine.
Mrowiec, Marek. “5S method and how it is used to organize production in a small manufacturing company” Prodio. Accessed July 2022. https://getprodio.com/5s-method-organize-production/
Keenan, Michael. “What is an Inventory Management System? Definition and Best Software” Shopify. Last updated April 2022. Accessed July 2022. https://www.shopify.com/enterprise/inventory-management-system
Kissflow. “What is a Workflow? – Types, Benefits & Examples” kissflow. Last updated July 2022. Accessed July 2022. https://kissflow.com/workflow/what-is-a-workflow/
SIGMA Recruitment. “8 Steps to Successful Delegation For Manufacturing Managers” SIGMA Recruitment. Accessed July 2022. https://www.sigmarecruitment.co.uk/sigma-news/8-steps-successful-delegation-manufacturing-managers/