Using technology to reduce waste and improve productivity

Posted on 9 Jun 2015 by The Manufacturer

In today’s hi-tech world it is a shame that more companies don’t use technology throughout their operations to avoid waste and improve productivity.

With a huge emphasis on going green and reducing the amount of paperwork, it would seem as though companies would be falling all over each other trying to beat the competition on the latest innovations.

Unfortunately, altogether too many companies are missing the boat. Not only can they reduce waste and greatly improve productivity but this would offer a huge reduction in overheads while making eco-friendly consumers quite happy. No matter what type of business you operate, there is sure to be innovative technology that can be utilized to your advantage. Following are a few key ways in which to use technology to reduce waste and improve productivity at the same time.

Reduction in Paperwork Saves Both Time and Money

If you were to add up all the money spent on paper throughout the course of the year you would be amazed at just how high that figure is. It would give your managers a nice raise that they’ve deserved for so long but business hasn’t supported the expense. One of the best ways to reduce the amount of money you spend on paperwork is to use a type of technology that makes every form you use digital.

Whether it is for inventory or customer orders & deliveries, there are handheld, wireless devices that keep all your forms in digital format without ever needing the first sheet of paper. One system that comes to mind is EZ Forms Checklist & Audit Compliance. With everything you need from an administrative viewpoint in digital format, you can save reams of paper daily. Sometimes these forms can simply be scanned in from documents you have been using for years, but mostly they are designed to work specifically with the devices and why they are so efficient.

How Reduction in Paperwork Improves Productivity

How many times have you asked your secretary for a file that seems to have papers missing? Some got left at the copy machine, others were filed incorrectly and some may have been inadvertently thrown in the rubbish. Technology that keeps everything in digital format and backed up regularly means that you never need to waste time searching for that one missing page that is all-important to the file. Isn’t that the one that always seems to go missing?

Now consider how much time you waste each day copying inventory from your storeroom? Of course the main checklist stays with the warehouse but one needs to go to the office, one may need to go to the head office and another to bookkeeping where orders are place per items that are running low. With everything being entered into an application that is accessible to every department, productivity is increased by many hours on a daily basis.

Increase Your Customer Base by Going Green

Finally, don’t forget all those tree huggers who have gone green. Survey after survey has shown that today’s consumer will readily embrace ‘green’ companies that are working vigilantly to reduce their carbon footprint. So if saving time and money isn’t enough to prompt you to look at hi-tech solutions, perhaps the fact that you can reach a wider customer base will.

Automated Processes in Manufacturing

Another huge way to avoid waste is through automating as many processes as you can. On production lines this can be invaluable in two completely vital areas. The first is to avoid wasted manpower hours. By automating production lines the need for human intervention is reduced. Whilst many critics believe this will put people out of work, this isn’t the case. Those workers can be redistributed to other areas where machines can’t do the tasks needed to complete processes.

Before automated PLC (programmable logic controllers), certain processes had to be monitored manually. With the advances in PLC technology, such things as temperature and duration can be precisely controlled to save energy and of course, manpower hours. With the precision of technology, productivity is significantly improved and a great deal of waste can be avoided.

Yes, there is a cost involved in buying and programming the technology needed to automate tasks or go paperless, but in the end, the savings are huge. These types of technology can offer a greener landscape and one that consumers really appreciate. Whether trying to keep up with government initiatives or simply find cheaper, more efficient ways to produce, technology is the key.