5 keys for improving internal efficiency

When you are trying to get the most you can out of your logistics operation, there are so many moving parts to consider that it could lead to "analysis paralysis." Even if you find something to improve, you may focus on just one issue for a time and then move onto the next, making small gains here and there, but never seeing the kind of great leap forward you might be expecting.

Certainly, achieving peak operational efficiency for your supply chain business overnight isn't easy - and it's probably impossible to do in one fell swoop - but the following steps should help you get there over time: 

1) Start with a deep analysis

The fact of the matter is that you can't improve if you don't know what aspects of your operations aren't running as well as they possibly can, according to Hash Micro. Over time, and often without even intending it, employees or managers allow inefficiencies to creep into their daily work and become a more or less formalized part of the process. Taken by themselves, one or two of them aren't a big deal, but over time, they can add up to major sources of lost efficiency. Smoothing them out is vital to keeping your operations strong.

There's lots to consider when it comes to finding more efficiency.There's lots to consider when it comes to finding more efficiency.

2) Get employees up to speed

When you decide to implement any of these changes, the first thing to do is make sure your employees both know what the goals are and why changes are being implemented, Hash Micro said. Carefully communicating the need for these changes - and providing the necessary training to get them all pulling in one direction and eliminate any confusion - will help ensure workers on the shop floor and managers are all on the same page.

3) Invest in the right technology

One of the biggest sources of inefficiency in supply chain settings - and especially those with a manufacturing focus - is that machines get old and eventually need to be replaced, but companies can be slow to react to that need, according to MaintainX. The reason is often as simple as the fact that replacement equipment, shelving, production machines and so on can be big-ticket items, but the efficiency of new machines may help them pay for themselves over time.

4) Reorganize your facility

When you're adding new equipment and other items that take up plenty of cubic footage anyway, it's also a good idea to evaluate whether your layout is ideal for efficiency, MaintainX added. If it's not, taking the time now to rearrange where things literally stand in your facility could help you find a little extra wiggle room.

5) Make tweaks on an ongoing basis

Finding efficiency in your operation is never a "set it and forget it" process, according to the GWP Group. You should not only strive to continually identify issues as they arise - for instance, with an in-house tracking software - but also consistently convene meetings with workers and managers alike to understand when little annoyances are starting to crop up.

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