The Reducing Manufacturing Errors Blog

Rework. Field replacements or fixes. Missed delivery dates. Production shutdowns. Manufacturing errors can wipe out a year of profits.One study found the cost of errors in one of six production operations is four percent or more of sales. Even if the direct costs are less dramatic in your operations, the benefits of reducing manufacturing errors are significant, including higher quality, more on-time deliveries, happier customers and improved morale. Which is why more than 75 percent of manufacturers consider reducing production mistakes critical or important. The causes? Human errors are number one. There are alsoContinue reading introduction


rework Five Ways to Reduce Rework This Quarter (September 19, 2019) - Imagine a world where rework is minimal and incorporated into your daily production plan. No production interruptions. No missed deliveries. Margins right on target. Serenity on the shop floor. Perfect, right? But perhaps not exactly what’s happening in your world. If not, then read on for five ways to begin reducing work you can implement immediately. (Not sure? Read our blog on how to quantify the symptoms and costs of your rework issues. Spoiler alert: You might be surprised.) Rework… Continue reading
Remakes Slow throughput? Missed deliveries? Low Margins? Reduce rework first. (August 28, 2019) - It’s possible, even likely, you’re unaware how much rework is costing your business. It’s much more than just direct time and materials. In fact, if you’re considering investing in equipment or adding workers, instead reduce costs while improving quality and efficiency. At one manufacturer, the plant pretended rework did not exist and went into chaos every single day to handle it. This was classic firefighting mode. Worse, no one was monitoring rework requirements or prioritizing resolving the issues. Management saw… Continue reading
Errors Errors because workers don’t “get the picture?” Let’s fix it. (July 26, 2019) - Does it feel like your workers just don’t get it? That no matter what you say or do, the mistakes and remakes just keep happening—or get worse? If you’re only providing text traveler instructions, it could be they’re not getting the picture because you’re not giving them pictures. You might already know this: two-thirds of the population are visual learners, as this article by Molly Reynolds in Inc. Magazine explains. And everyone does better when they can see what needs… Continue reading
Job Costs Unreliable job costing leaving you confused? (June 25, 2019) - No one argues in favor of inaccurate job costing, right? Because when your costs are wrong, your prices and margins can be wrong—which means profits are off too. You’ll also struggle to identify cost trouble areas, including products variations and much, much more. All of this is bad. Yet we see plenty of make-to-order operations suffering with, while not always aware of, incomplete and unreliable job costs. Job costing is simple if you produce the same product day after day,… Continue reading
Fear increasing mistakes Is fear increasing mistakes in your plant? (May 25, 2019) - You might not mean to create it. But I see it happen. You’re scaring your workers into mistakes. Into missed deadlines, breakage, misreading or failing to read the job order or making the part wrong. I mention this because I have seen fear-based work environments result in well-designed production improvement and quality systems falling far short of expectations. When workers believe they’ll be punished for calling attention to issues or their own errors, some will keep silent. Others will make… Continue reading
WIPlash? Missing and “lost” materials cost you. Here’s what to do. (April 22, 2019) - Call it WIPlash. When production workers cannot locate expected raw materials or partial assemblies—or you’re out of something your inventory system says you have—many unproductive things happen: One or more workers and managers spends time looking for what should have been easily located.Materials are taken from another job, often without being recorded, setting up another production disruption.A new assembly is made, even though the intended one is somewhere in your facility. Production for the job stops, possibly until new materials… Continue reading
Oh no! The keys to preventing order entry errors (March 19, 2019) - Four thousand units had to be scrapped because a customer service representative entered one dimension incorrectly by an eighth of an inch. That’s on the CSR, right? Not your fault if it happened in your operation? Actually, chances are you could have reduced or removed the possibility of such an error with procedures or systems put in place before it happened. No matter how you look at it, it is certainly your issue. Because it’s your plant and you don’t… Continue reading
Fix this mess! Fix Your Work Instructions to Improve Quality and Growth (February 20, 2019) - It’s easy to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if you know how. Describing the steps so someone else can make it to your standards? Much harder. Which is how the peanut butter and jelly ended up outside the bread when my junior high school teacher followed my otherwise perfectly written instructions. The class got a laugh. I got a lesson. Now picture your factory floor, where your products are likely more complex than a sandwich. Are your work… Continue reading
5 Signs Your Systems are Holding Back Your Business 5 Signs Your Systems are Holding Back Your Business (January 14, 2019) - They say all publicity is good publicity. The same is not true of systems for operating a manufacturing business. What worked when your company was small can be costing you in obvious and less obvious ways now that you have more orders and people; your products are more complicated and lead times and margins have shrunk. How can you tell when your business has outgrown whatever traditional small business accounting or home-grown spreadsheet system you’ve been using? When is it… Continue reading
What the Reducing Manufacturing Errors blog is about (January 2, 2019) - Rework. Field replacements or fixes. Missed delivery dates. Production shutdowns. Manufacturing errors can wipe out your profits for the year. One study found the cost of errors in one of six production operations is four percent or more of sales. Even if the direct costs are less dramatic in your operations, the benefits of reducing manufacturing errors are significant, including higher quality, more on-time deliveries, happier customers and improved morale.  Which is why more than 75 percent of manufacturers consider… Continue reading