Continuous improvement is a mindset that will help you make incremental improvements and eventually breakthroughs in a variety of different industries and applications. For the manufacturing industry, it’s all about making these improvements to reduce waste, make small optimizations, and eventually grow the business.
If you’re looking to improve a business or manufacturing plant, then efficiency is the key. Being able to reduce waste means less money wasted, and it also means your employees can stay focused when it comes to specific tasks. Continuous improvement in this case means constantly looking for ways to make small adjustments and changes, reporting on them and spreading those positive improvements throughout the company.
Continuous improvement can be achieved in many different ways, but the most common path includes the following:
- Plan for continuous improvement by identifying opportunities to make changes and then taking note of those areas.
- Implement changes on a small scale and then record results to see how they can be adopted at a larger scale.
- Use analytics and data to determine if those changes can be sustained at a larger scale and if they can actually make a difference.
- Implement the changes on a larger scale if the results of your small scale tests were positive.
- Assess the results and then repeat the process to begin the cycle of continuous improvement.
We’ve included an infographic link that details some of the steps to continuous improvement. While it’s specific to automotive manufacturing, you’ll find that many of the same concepts can apply to any manufacturing process.
Infographic By: Continuous Improvement in Automotive Manufacturing