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6 Factory Improvement Ideas: Resources Manufacturers Shouldn't Miss!

April 28, 2021

 by Renaud Anjoran

Title with text, 6 factory improvement ideas

After years of observing manufacturers and factories, I noticed that Factories in China are seldom perfect, having reasonably common issues, for example, 'quality fade,' or a lack of a production planning system.

While working with consultants who can come in and help fix your factory on-site is a great way to improve operations, what are some ways you can improve your manufacturing right now for free?

Factory Improvement Ideas From Our Manufacturing Consultants

CMC's consultants have incurred years of experience in factory optimization, and we've been more than happy to share our tips and tricks outside of the factory floor. 

For the past few years, we've been producing China manufacturing improvement blog posts, webinars, presentations, and eBooks covering all kinds of factory improvement ideas available on our website, free of charge.

In this blog post, I will share some of the most popular CMC resources you may have missed and explain their benefits.

Who can benefit from our consultants' factory improvement advice?

These resources are ideal for:

  • Large customers of a Chinese supplier who want their supplier to make positive, mutually beneficial changes to their factory
  • Companies that own Chinese manufacturing operations and are seeking to improve them
  • Companies who have a joint venture Chinese factory with a local partner and are also seeking to improve the factory there

Please note that to download them, we'll ask you for your email address and some relatively brief information about your situation, and we'll email you our content.

4 Templates for Planning Factory Management Improvements

What is the secret to our success? It's not much of a mystery as it's available right here. Learn how our consultants tackle factory improvements and use these techniques (built into ready-made excel spreadsheets for you) to organize your factory operations better.

These templates cover:

  1. Setting up a management system that aligns everyone's goals and objectives for faster improvements and better results.
  2. Setting up good process controls to ensure products are of high quality.
  3. Creating a production planning system adapted to your unique manufacturing activity in Excel and an ERP system.
  4. A solid project management system for factories that make highly-engineered products (custom-built for each project).

These templates are helpful on a very general level and will prove to be a valuable tool for almost any manufacturer looking to tidy up management and planning.

Planning Factory Management

14 Mistake Proofing Examples: Improve Quality at Virtually No Cost

Defective products are always a pain to deal with. With the implementation of mistake proofing, defective products can be kept to a minimum.

We provide an eBook that highlights our favorite mistake proofing techniques amongst the many available.

Our engineering specialists have put together this eBook which shares 14 mistake-proofing devices and systems which you can go ahead and implement in your factory at minimal cost, including:

  • Change in dies and fixtures
  • Vision systems that detects errors on a conveyor or at each step of a process
  • A visual color system that helps operators avoid making mistakes

If you're already using these, great!

However, if not, consider whether you would be able to eliminate some common quality issues by implementing them. There's nothing to lose, as we have purposefully selected low or no-cost options.

Get the eBook by clicking the image below:

Factory Mistake Proofing Examples

22 Signs Of Good Factory Management in China

We've seen great factories, and we've seen some less than ideal factories in China. Great factories all share similar attributes, and we've decided to create a deck for you to evaluate your factory operations.

This presentation outlines 22 signs that a factory is well-managed.

You can use it to assess whether your factory or that of your Chinese suppliers is failing to reach the necessary levels of:

  • Quality
  • Inventory
  • Delivery
  • Processes

If any of these 'signs' raise a red flag, you can make targeting them a priority.

Ready to read the presentation? Click the image below:

Factory Management in China

A Sustainable Process Improvement Framework For China Factories [Presentation: Video + PDF]

Having continuous growth is hard; having a framework and plan to keep moving forward is vital for factories.

We created this resource to lift the lid on the 11 step process improvement framework that our manufacturing consultants use when working with a factory.

If your factory has issues with cost, quality, delivery, or any combination of the three, then you should use this framework as a starting point for your own improvement activities.

Our framework is an 11 phase process based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle to guarantee that these four risks don't become problems:

  1. Failure to improve
  2. Poor target-setting and management of expectations
  3. Inability to sustain improvements
  4. Assuring that manufacturing consultant, should you work with them, only target the most relevant issues

Not only does it include a PDF version of the framework, but you'll also see a video where I talk you through this tried-and-tested approach.

Sustainable Process Improvement for Factory

7 Common Myths About Manufacturing Management

We've heard some bizarre myths about manufacturing after years of experience in the industry. We're here to bust the most common misunderstandings and myths in manufacturing, specifically those dealing with China.

We aim to dispel the following myths:

  • All Factories Should Try to Automate their Processes
  • Training a Chinese Workforce is Useless
  • Large Batches are the Key to Lower Costs
  • Paying Production Operators by the Piece Improves Productivity
  • Clean and Safe Workshops are a Luxury
  • Higher Quality Means Higher Costs
  • Lean Manufacturing is not Applicable in China

If you've previously followed any of these ideas, this ebook will hopefully show you a different, better option that can help improve your factory processes moving forward.

Click the image below to get this eBook:

Manufacturing Management Myths

Case Study - Auto Parts Factory Turnaround In China

More of a practical learner? We got you covered with our case studies on Chinese factories. We've made an eBook that walks you through real-world examples of how our manufacturing consultants have helped factories in China to make a positive, lasting impact.

This case study focuses on an Automotive parts factory (don't worry, the material can help any manufacturers of other goods gain insight into how to improve their factory too), demonstrating how CMC's lean management consulting created the following results:

  • Saved 850,000rmb per month (around US$134,000)
  • Improved the on-time shipment rate from 39% to 69%
  • Increased factory capacity by 4x
  • Decreased bloated inventory saving almost 5 million RMB! (around US$788,000)

We did it by eliminating bottlenecks, and implementing production planning and preventive maintenance plans.

So take a look at how we created these great results in more detail and use the experience to map out your own factory turnaround, just hit the image below:

Auto Parts Factory Improvement

Bottom Line

Which of these topics did you find most beneficial for your business? Don't forget that more factory improvement ideas like these are found in our resources library.

If you have any questions or requests for blog posts or eBooks on a topic that we haven't covered, please ask me by leaving a comment below!

Need help to fix your factory in China right now?

No problem, our China manufacturing consultants are here to assist you in making positive and long-lasting changes.

Get started by having a no-strings discussion with us about your current situation and goals. We'd love to find out more, so just hit the orange button below to schedule a call when convenient for you!

Schedule a call with CMC consultants

Topics: Management/Turnaround, Manufacturing Consulting, Mistake-Proofing, Manufacturing In China, Project Management Systems, Process Improvement

Renaud Anjoran

Renaud Anjoran

15 years experience in China.
Partner, China Manufacturing Consultants.
Worked with hundreds of factories in China.
Certifications: ASQ CQE & CRE; ISO 9001 & 14001 lead auditor.
Author of well-read blog, Quality Inspection Tips.

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