The business world is always changing, so continuous improvements are essential. For the contract packaging industry, there are a lot of plates spinning all at once. A co-packing center has to be a well-oiled machine. In order to keep things going, changes must be made to optimize things like safety, space, and speed.
There are easy ways to make simple but effective improvements in co-packing methods. It doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul, changes can be as minor as deemed fit. The implementation of continuous improvement will result in benefits across the board.
Where to Start
Change can be a big undertaking. Continuous improvement can be boiled down to just a few simple steps. It isn’t all that common for core changes to be made. At the end of the day, it all boils down to managing a few key things. Each step feeds into the next to create a cycle of continuous improvement.
These following tweaks will fine-tune the entire co-packing process and benefit both the company and the client.
There are always improvements to be made, some more obvious than others. You should always be analyzing your systems and processes. Whether big or small, looking for ways to improve is the responsible thing to do. Putting things like strict organization, clean-up, and habit forming into action can be done quickly with unlimited advantages.
Organization and 5S
Nothing turns an operation around like organization and visual systems. Making sure that everything has a place will drastically improve how things work. Organization includes setting up procedures and methods that will streamline all processes.
Whether it’s keeping the facility’s tools in order or having shadow boards up in the facilities, organization should take top priority.
Keeping the work area clean and orderly will improve productivity and reduce accidents. A neat facility cuts down on missteps and accidents that could cause problems and cost money.
If excess materials are left out on the floor that could cause employee accidents or line shutdowns. Maintaining a workspace that looks tidy will improve efficiency and keep the product and employees safe.
The more diligent companies become with putting these particular procedures in place, the easier it will all become. Forming a habit requires a certain amount of discipline. Workers and management alike have to be willing to go through the steps every time, not just through the motions. If there is a commitment to what needs to be done companies will end up with improved operations and a more sustainable strategy. The key here is to engage everyone in the process so they will buy into the value continuous improvement will bring to customers and to them personally.
Now that the basic steps are in place, you can embark on your continuous improvement journey. The journey can begin with simply standing on the production or warehouse floor and looking for waste. Waste can mean many things but in sum, it simply means movement or activity that occurs, that does not deliver value to the product or service. For example, if a person must walk through isles to look for inventory that was not put away properly, the effort consumed looking for the inventory is waste. Another form of waste would be a slow process that bottlenecks another process so employees are waiting for work. Whatever the challenge may be, there is likely a better and faster way to deliver the end result. Co-packers will invest in engineers or continuous improvement specialists to do Line Balancing. This means that the work is looked at and balanced to ensure a proper and fast flow of work.
The value created by focusing on the flow of work is the work gets done faster and more work can get done. This results in customer satisfaction, because of their ability to scale and shareholder satisfaction because it costs less money to produce more work. The added benefit is that employees enjoy their work because it is productive and not burdensome.
To learn more about our contract packaging, speak to a specialist!