Many people who work in manufacturing firms may have a tough time having the knowledge and understanding of the metrics that matter, with so many metrics to choose from, and among those metrics, which ones are the most important for their company?
This article is meant to help guide you to this answer.
Machine Usage & Inventory Levels
Manufacturing companies often have a plethora of metrics that they should be monitoring, but why are these important?
The numbers from these metrics can give you an idea of how efficient your operations are. If you want to find ways to improve your manufacturing process, these metrics can help guide you.
For instance, one of the important metrics that many manufacturing companies monitor is machine usage and inventory levels. Monitoring how much time your machinists spend on things like your process heating tools is an easy way to see which machinery needs replacing or upgrading.
If an employee must spend a lot of time waiting for the machine to finish its cycle before they may start another part, this indicates that the machine is in need of repair or maybe even replacement, or that a more effective process should be adopted.
True or false: If you were to run out of inventory in a currently-manufacturing part, the people who use your manufacturing process would be affected, including the customers under your company?
This is a true statement. When you don’t have inventory for your manufacturing process and/or parts, then you will have to scramble to find a way to get that aspect of your manufacturing back online as soon as possible.
For example, if you are just about out of faucet handles for sinks that are currently going through factory automation processes, then those manufacturers might have trouble with their supply chain in order to re-stock the faucet handles quickly enough in order to turn around their production lines.
Production volume is a measurement that you can use to calculate how much your company will make, within a certain period of time.
If you are considering the output of your production team and the number of parts they are producing in a day or week, and compare it to other weeks or days in your business, then you can try to see if there is any correlation between bad days and weeks with poor output, as compared with when things go well.
When you plot out these numbers on an X-Y graph, it may be easier for you to see whether something is off about your company’s operations.
Another important metric that many companies want to monitor is the cost of doing business.
This particular metric allows you to see if you are paying too much for certain products or services, and how well you are meeting your costs relative to other companies in your industry.
As an example, if the cost of raw materials goes up by 10% but your company hasn’t raised prices, then it may be that your production process is getting a little more expensive because of waste materials going in.