The manufacturing sector is a complex network of dependencies, connections and transactions. Making an item, regardless of which industry sector you’re targeting, always involves a variety of processes, from sourcing your material and equipment to eventually pursuing the process into packaging, shipping and selling.
Ultimately, whether your company only targets B2B clients or whether you are also approaching a broader B2C audience, your business follows a journey that is designed to reach out to your end customers. As such, business improvements – whether they relate to your manufacturing processes or your customer relationships – need to take into consideration strategies to save both time and money. Indeed, spending less time and budget to make, sell and send your products ultimately means that you’re in a better position to drive your profits and grow your market share.
For large manufacturing companies, there is no doubt that a thorough business strategy has already been implemented to cover time and budget factors. However, small businesses are cautious about improvement investments as a direct consequence of their limited capital. Nevertheless, these are the top 5 improvements that small manufacturers need to make that can drive a positive ROI.
Stop Wasting Time Commuting to Your Warehouse Sites
Small companies are likely to grow their site over a number of different buildings, including their manufacturing, warehousing and shipping functions. Who says distinct and separate buildings says delays. It’s not uncommon for small manufacturers to rely on transportation vehicles to commute from one space to another. Needless to say, at the end of the day, the constant use of vans, cars or any other vehicle is likely to slow down the entire process. It’s a good idea to skip the car and rely on customisable conveyor belts that connect each unit. Whether the belts are set in between buildings or from one storey to another, the result will be a significant reduction of time waste and interruptions.
Pick a Tailored Software Tool
There’s no such thing as a company that doesn’t rely on software tools. However, for small businesses, the choice of software is typically dictated by cost. While it’s not a policy of the cheaper the better, there’s no denying that budget limitations play a significant role in the decision-making process. However, less expensive tools will likely offer a standard approach to managing business processes and issues. If a small business is going to grow, it needs to optimise its software equipment to choose a solution that offers a specialist approach to their market and situation. There’s no one size fits all strategy in the software world. Ultimately, the most effective strategy is to opt for a customised – or partially customised – tool that meets your requirements. In the long term, it’s a time and money-saving investment.
Integrate a Time Management Tool
Managing teams in an environment where you need to operate multiple shifts in a day can be tricky. But the days of the manual clocking in devices are long gone. You need a solution that can let you sort out a last-minute change smoothly and quickly. Small businesses can’t afford to miss their production deadline because of team scheduling. If someone calls in sick, you want a time management solution that lets you contact every available replacement in a click. Ultimately, a time management tool can help small companies to make the most of their resources every day.
Take 30 Seconds to Write a Thank-You Card
Thanking your clients for their purchase shows you care. Admittedly, the manufacturing industry may not be in a customer-facing environment. But slipping a thank-you note into each parcel can go a long way towards customer satisfaction. Showing gratitude makes your customers feel valued. More importantly, it positions your brand in a positive light. Whether you’re in a B2B or B2C constellation, taking the time to write a short thank-you message can dramatically improve customer retention.
Seek Eco-Friendly Solutions
In 2019 nobody needs to use plastic packaging anymore. There are plenty of environmentally-friendly alternatives that are 100% recyclable. You can opt for cardboard boxes, for instance, as these are typically easy to handle for your end customers. Additionally, it’s a good idea to work with packaging specialists to reduce waste of space during the shipping process. Ultimately, saving space means reduced shipping costs, which is good news. From a customers’ perspective, your green efforts will not go unnoticed. More and more buyers are looking for companies that embrace environmental values.
There’s no denying that innovative technologies and strategies are necessary to streamline the manufacturing process. However, innovation and research come at a cost that small businesses can’t afford. However, they can improve their productivity, reputation, and use of resources through tactical modifications that don’t break the bank.