How to Establish Sustainable Manufacturing Practices

by David Salamanek

Where manufacturing is Now — customers want sustainability 

Your customers want more from your manufacturing company than the products you create. They want it done in the most sustainable way possible. According to a social responsibility study, over 60% of consumers want businesses to drive change in areas that lack government action. 

It’s time to change now 

You can’t move toward sustainability at a later date. It needs to be done now to maintain your customer base to improve your company’s productivity and efficiency. Additionally, advancement toward sustainable manufacturing maintains employee retention when they see you making efforts to change. Here are some suggestions to establish sustainable practices. 

windmill-5591464_1920-1024x717 How to Establish Sustainable Manufacturing Practices

Conduct a process audit 

An audit of existing processes is the first step to establishing sustainable practices. Here, evaluations are made to determine if resources, activities, and manufacturing behaviors are efficiently managed. In other words, it is an examination of all the steps related to product creation, packaging, and distribution.  

A proper process audit starts with a preliminary review. It is followed by fieldwork, report delivery, and follow-up review. Client interaction is important at each stage of the process audit.  

WhenISO 9000 guidelines are properly followed then quality management issues are minor and sustainable manufacturing practices are established. If not followed, then the process audit reveals the areas that need improvement to enhance the company’s bottom line. 

Digitize your operations and workflows 

Unless you hand-tool customized products, a manual manufacturing process isn’t productive. This isn’t only for the machines themselves. It also relates to how important data is entered for inventory, shipping, and billing. 

A recent survey of manufacturers reported that close to half still utilize tools like manual spreadsheets to record information. As a result of this, less than 20% of those asked couldn’t produce the process and sustainability information required to grow their business. As a result, constant confusion and frustration emerge about inventory and customers.  

This lack of cohesion also affects the manufacturing machines themselves. When these devices aren’t linked to an alert system, then the only method of attention is via on-site personnel. If a floor-wide failure occurs there might not be enough available staff to handle the issues. 

A sustainable solution is to digitize operations with the adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) processes. Linking manufacturing machines to the internet allows multiple employees and supervisors to be alerted should a problem arise. In turn, they quickly respond to avoid long-term productivity loss. 

The data workflow solution is the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications from companies like SAP. With the capability to customize its modules, ERP software establishes a data chain flow across the entire company. Every department related to the manufacturing process has access to this material. Thus, inventory managers know when products are completed, shipping agents know when to schedule deliveries, and the billing department knows when to send out invoices. 

Are you ready to establish sustainable manufacturing practices? Then, don’t wait to find out more. Reach out to one of our representatives today. 

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