Ensuring the smooth day-to-day operation of a factory is no easy feat, but manufacturing managers have to do it. Besides internal factors working against productivity, you also have to keep up with customer demands. In the midst of all this and more, the manufacturing manager has to lead teams across the entire organization efficiently.
It sounds daunting, right? Especially for a new manufacturing manager, things can get a bit overwhelming. But, all hope isn’t lost. With a few tips and nudges in the right direction, new manufacturing managers can get ahead of the game.
1. Pay attention to employee wellbeing.
Employees are the most precious assets a company has. If your team members are burned out and unmotivated, it’s going to tell on business operations and customer satisfaction. Sure, you can’t really influence what your subordinates do after working hours, but you can encourage healthy habits, like fitness classes. Introducing a wellness program can spur behavior changes that amp up productivity. That’s not the only perk, though. By ensuring that your employees are physically and mentally fit goes a long way.
If you’re not sure where to start, companies like Wellable can help you structure and create experiences that impact employees’ mental and physical health. They tailor employee wellness experiences to suit three major environments — technology, physical spaces, and culture.
Some of the tools they use to enhance these environments include a Wellable app, a customizable platform, dedicated account management as well as flexible prices. Also, they offer solutions in the form of wellness content and services, health plans of all sizes, and smoking cessation.
2. Be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
You don’t want to watch the company’s production go down under. That’s why being prepared for the worst is an excellent way to get ahead of things. Although no one can accurately predict the future, there are ways to anticipate future events when taking a look at historic data and using advanced analytics techniques and statistical methods to gain insights. With actionable insights provided, your organization can use predictive models to gain a competitive advantage while staying ahead of things.
The methods used for advanced analytics include predictive analytics, machine learning, clustering, and calculations, among others. Altogether, data scientists can use these tools and tailor them toward preventative maintenance.
3. Keep up to date with training.
In a dynamic sector like manufacturing, it’s imperative to keep up with training. Everyone needs numerous opportunities to level up and upskill to keep up with industry trends. Keeping things fresh on the training side ensures that business goals are met and measured with modern methods. Every competent manager needs to ensure that there are accessible training opportunities involved that align with company goals.
4. Communicate well with your staff.
Sometimes, the simplest way to ensure that all goals are aligned is by talking to your employees. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, it’s important to open a two-way port of communication. For the most part, the job is in their hands. They hold the reigns, so they know what’s actually happening on a daily basis on the factory floor. A good way to ensure that production moves smoothly is to liaise with them and genuinely listen to their concerns.
5. Take quality control seriously.
It’s easy to get carried away when you have to deliver products at a specific time. At some point, it becomes solely about the deadlines and less about providing a high-quality product. Ensure that you set unbreakable standards and that all professionals involved in the production process are aware. Another critical step is to review products before sending them out, then pay attention to feedback because that’s where you’ll find out what you lack in terms of quality control.
6. Keep optimizing the manufacturing process.
Optimization isn’t an option when it comes to being in the manufacturing industry. You need to ensure that any redundant activities are cut off or replaced for something more significant. Altogether, that’s a sure way to get an ROI. In a nutshell, the manufacturing industry isn’t one for mundane work. As mentioned above, it’s evolving at a rapid rate with the help of big data, algorithms, and exciting new technologies. With that in mind, manufacturing managers need to stay on top of process optimization.
7. Try to be as organized as possible.
No one needs to tell you that the factory can be a pretty volatile environment. Call it an occupational hazard. That’s why every new manufacturing manager needs to be meticulous when it comes to being organized. It’s not enough to keep your own work area neat and practical. You equally need to ensure that your subordinates do the same. Everything from machinery to staplers should have a designated space, and that’s where they should be at the end of the workday.
8. Know at what point to draw the line.
It’s hard to be the new kid on the block, even when you’re the boss. Many people are tempted to go soft on their subordinates from the get-go. Don’t get it wrong, it’s not ideal to bark orders once you step in through the door, but there has to be a firmness that comes with being in charge. Even if you have an easy-going manner, you need to set boundaries for your own good.
9. Try as much as possible to lead by example.
This next tip probably sounds like a cliche, but you’ll be surprised at how many people in leadership positions take a step back and bend the rules for themselves. The thing is, if you want something done promptly, you need to do the same thing. Don’t expect your subordinates to deliver high-quality work if you do it haphazardly yourself. Even more, don’t ask them to come in early if you come in late every day.
10. Know when to delegate accordingly.
Being a leader is in no way synonymous with doing it all yourself. Hence why one of the best pieces of advice anyone can give you is to delegate accordingly. Besides the present chain of command, be observant once you start the job, so you know who’s competent and who’s not.