It’s not a known fact that the manufacturing industry was the worst-hit sector during the COVID-19 pandemic all over the world. All nations have tried to make drastic changes in their approach to fight the disease that has led to the buildup of extreme pressure on the manufacturing sector to perform as per the demand.
But for a manufacturing company to survive in these testing times and make a successful post-pandemic rebound, cost reduction is the key. Cutting on non-essential costs would not only help the cause of economic revival but also restore the manufacturing efficiency to pre-pandemic levels or higher.
Firms handling manufacturing plants must focus on the development and proper execution of concrete strategies capable of serving the dual purpose of efficiency optimization and cost reduction.
With the idea of Industry 4.0 prevailing for the past few years, various front runner technologies like predictive maintenance process can offer the solution.
5 Ways To Improve Manufacturing Efficiency Post COVID
Here are some valuable solutions to the problem of reduced efficiency faced by manufacturing units because of various challenges put up by the pandemic.
1. Analyze the pandemic’s effect on operations
Though the Coronavirus has not left any area untouched, still not all manufacturing operations get equally affected. Analyze the areas that are still performing to keep up with the demands. Use approaches like Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) to track the real-time production efficiency of operations. These are the ones that will help you revive once the situation gets normal. To know how to find out the OEE, refer to oee calculation examples.
2. Maximize production of in-demand commodities
Focus on manufacturing the product, which you think will rule the market post-pandemic so that you become market-ready way before. Keep a track of your stocks and vital supplies so that there is no chance of frequent interruption in your production lines. This way you could ride on higher outputs and customer satisfaction.
3. Emphasize data analysis
Things change very quickly and drastically during a pandemic. You have to be agile to catch with uncertainty in demands. Hence it becomes quite crucial to perform real-time manufacturing data analysis. Moreover, it gives you the advantage of keeping the supply-demand relationship maintained in the market.
4. Keep your employee morale high
The pandemic period can bring a lot of stress and anxiety in the life of a person. It’s essential to keep morale high among your workers so that the production efficiency doesn’t suffer. Use management software to enhance their productivity, safety standards, and mental well-being. This way you can win their trust so that they stay with you for longer.
5. Maintain product quality
The pandemic might push a manufacturing firm into recession mode. But, the value created and the service offered by the firm is the only way out. Hence it’s highly advised to never compromise with the product quality to gain profits even post-pandemic. Customer loyalty is what will stay with you after things get normal.
You can utilize technology efficiently to achieve better product quality by predicting solutions based on quality control data while inspecting product development methodology.
5 Ways To Reduce Costs Of Manufacturing
With both production and profitability touching the bottom line during a crisis, it becomes a do-or-die situation for manufacturers to put a hold on their expenses to stay in the business after getting back to normal.
Here are some of the best methods to help curb the running costs of a manufacturing plant and sustain the business once the pandemic is over.
1. Revision of budgets
Before taking any decision on cost-cutting, it’s important to review and revise both short and long-term budgets. Perform break-even analyses and financial forecasting to get a sense of the market situation post-pandemic and adjust your budgets and anticipated expenses on machinery and labor accordingly.
2. Negotiate with suppliers
Manufacturers should try to persuade their raw material and machinery suppliers, wholesalers, distributors, and others for better pricing or reduced fees. It might mean a temporary loss of revenue, but in the long run after the pandemic, it will help support the business chain.
3. Delay cost-intensive projects
Projects that aren’t necessary at the time and demand huge cash inflow, such as capital improvement projects should either be canceled or postponed.
A pandemic period is an ideal time to look for cost-effective yet energy-efficient alternatives and implement them in the production system. It will reduce both energy consumption and monetary expenditure on maintenance.
4. Develop spend management strategies
Work upon sound strategies that enable you to take immediate control over your direct and indirect spending. Allocate the capital in hand such that more emphasis is to meet the demands of the product manufacturing processes such as research and development, repair and maintenance, and customer service. Whereas either reduce or stop the spending on office, warehouse, and manufacturing unit infrastructure upgrade.
Avoid burning your capital by purchasing excessive inventory. It will hinder your capacity to bank upon saved funds once the markets hit normalcy. You can take help from inventory software solutions to predict the future demand for stock based on your previous sales data.
5. Focus on process optimization
Redesigning the product and process enables you to reduce the cost and increase production efficiency. Whereas leveraging technology for process optimization helps you achieve the goal of substantial cost reduction and better process flow.
No one can predict exactly how much time it will take for the world economy to recover fully from the coronavirus pandemic. The only thing in your hand is the opportunity and time to adapt quickly to the post-pandemic world and be market-ready. The consumer spending behavior is going to change forever which can be analyzed now itself as the markets have begun to open up a bit.
The pandemic is going to leave an everlasting effect on the manufacturing sector. Many manufacturers across the world have already started supply chain realignment for better reach and diversification of their products. More emphasis should be on the relationship with suppliers, supply chain transparency, insurance coverage, and product appeal.
Post-pandemic manufacturing will witness increased reliance on automation and technology in factories and reallocation of human capital to other parts of the business. The only way manufacturers can survive in the extremity of the markets is by getting comfortable operating in an environment that demands constant change and offers uncertainty in return.