How to improve factory productivity – identify the problem

If you're a factory manager, you're probably looking for ways to maximise productivity.

Business Graph with arrow showing profits and gainsGetting the right conditions within the working areas could be critical: the right temperature; humidity; air quality, and lighting could be the answer to provide a comfortable working environment.

Is there more you could do to improve your factory’s productivity?

Is there a problem?

There are a number of indicators that can suggest all is not as well as it could be:

  • Variations in production quality or volume –  a review of incidents over a set period of time will enable you to identify the most common occurrences. An analysis of the prevailing conditions at the time of the incidents with the biggest impact or the most frequent ones will reveal common patterns and highlight underlying issues
  • Staff complaints – as the plant manager, you keep track of your staff complaints and ensure they are dealt with. However, a more detailed analysis of the complaints you receive may reveal some trends or patterns that indicate a potential problem

How to identify the problem

Once you know you have an issue, in order to find a solution you will need to identify the source of the problem.

This can be done in a number of ways, for example:

  • Was the incident a result of a lapse in attention due to excessive heat? Was there too much noise?
  • Asking your staff about the way they see the issue, to get a clear picture of their perception of existing conditions
  • Looking at the building’s construction to identify any factors that may affect the comfort or efficiency of your staff
  • Analysing the activities carried out in the building and how they may affect the conditions within the building (e.g. do they generate noise, fumes, heat, etc.)

Finding a solution

The next step is quantifying the problem. The best way to do this is to carry out a survey of your operation.

For more information on how a factory survey can help, click here.