Food manufacturers face complex challenges daily. These include ever-changing regulatory policies, severe production environments, and costly equipment upkeep, among others. Any missteps or delays can lead to severe penalties and a decline in consumer trust.
To succeed, food manufacturers need to maximize productivity and efficiency while ensuring quality and adapting to consumer preferences. Here are four ways producers can step up their game and maintain profitability.
Assess your existing workflow
When was the last time you examined your operations? Do you have the right people in the right places? Is all your equipment in good condition?
Understanding your current workflow enables you to examine what is happening on a daily basis. It allows you to spot bottlenecks and minor issues before they escalate into bigger problems. After all, you can’t implement the right changes without identifying which areas need improvement.
Update your technology
Automation and robotics improve productivity by eliminating human errors and increasing uptime. Industrial foil stamping equipment, for example, can withstand nonstop production over a long time. Similarly, sensor-based cutting technologies can triple efficiency and production speed.
Outdated equipment is prone to product contamination and can produce lower-quality products that trigger penalties and bad publicity. Once a food manufacturer misses a deadline or produces unsafe products, it can seriously damage the brand’s reputation.
When purchasing new technology, it’s not enough to assess upfront costs. Keep in mind the total cost of ownership and how it can affect your bottom line. A hefty price tag is worth it if the upkeep expenses are lower than the initial cost and if it solves a major problem in your production line. \
Invest in training and development
Investing in training programs helps boost an employee’s confidence and performance. Creating a supportive environment for everyone will lead to business growth and better output.
Allowing employees to continue learning can also decrease employee turnover. The more motivated workers are, the less likely they are to change employers. This can lower your turnover costs, including recruitment and onboarding.
Provide educational opportunities for employees who wish to advance their expertise or acquire new skills. Organize training sessions every time new equipment is installed. But don’t limit education to equipment. The whole company will also benefit greatly from seminars on food safety regulations and workplace policies.
Organize the workplace
A chaotic work environment can hinder efficiency. Removing unnecessary materials lying around can provide more room for new equipment. In addition, an organized storage can reduce the time spent searching for tools and documents.
When it comes to manufacturing floor plans, excess movement and distance can cost you precious production time. If a product needs to transfer from one machine to another, find a way to shorten the distance or move the product quicker. This will reduce delays and boost productivity.
Additionally, dirty floors and corners can be a breeding ground for insects and bacteria. To avoid contamination, remove any signs of clutter immediately and disinfect cleaning supplies, machinery, and air compressors regularly.
In an industry where processes are deeply integrated, productivity is a team effort. Increased productivity should be driven by continuous change rather than quick fixes that will only lead to bigger problems down the road. Food manufacturers need to practice consistency and adaptability to yield greater revenue and better employee and customer satisfaction.