Why adding people, equipment and space wastes money

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Most likely, you already have the capacity you need. You just need to view it in new ways.

The common request for “more” as the only way to solve an operational challenge reflects shallow thinking.

The fog of familiarity is the pervasive limitation to manufacturers solving operational challenges with simple solutions.

Most likely, you already have the capacity you need. You just need to view it in new ways.

Performance improvement

Frequent miscounts in shipping quantities? Do not add a person to double-count what has already been counted. For decades, we’ve known that inspection does not increase quality. Fresh eyes and motivation to fix the problem are all that is needed.

Sloppy processes and casual communication infiltrate the bulk of companies. Basic mistake-proofing techniques can easily improve performance. Open a carton of eggs. You can immediately tell if the right number is inside.

A bottleneck piece of equipment causing unacceptably long lead times? Do not buy another one, or even add another shift. Use the one you have effectively. Fresh eyes and a reason to increase output are all that is needed.

With a new client, we increased output of the bottleneck by over 300 percent in under 10 days with a few simple changes. Overflow work that had been outsourced was returned, and now the pressure is on sales to use the newfound capacity. Observe what is limiting effective output and eliminate those impediments.

De-clutter the business

Can’t find what you need because of the congested maze? Do not add a warehouse. Eliminate the gridlock. Fresh eyes and a reason to create space are all that is needed.

Families that stay in the same home for years accumulate junk. The same is true of manufacturing companies. In both cases, there is really no need to move.

Periodically sort through the growing collection and remove items no longer important. Or better yet, get rid of anything as soon as its usefulness disappears.

More is the easy request, but likely not the best one. Look around. You’ll be amazed by what you see.