Manufacture Smarter Blog

Celebrate the American Dream and American Manufacturing!

7/1/2016 It’s so close! Fourth of July weekend is right around the corner with summer sun, family vacations, parties, and BBQs. Especially during this time of year, Americans are proud of their hard work, personal liberty, and ability to stand united in support of independence. Reflecting on why we celebrate our great nation’s independence and all that we’ve accomplished this year strikes a positive note for the future. As patriotism is celebrated this holiday, it’s appropriate to comment on the contributions U.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Measure Your Process Improvements

5/6/2016 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential tools used in manufacturing management. These metrics can be used to measure the overall success of an organization or manage daily functions. Measurements help determine if operations are effective or if changes need to be made in order to avoid future inefficiencies and problems. Which KPIs will help better manage business operations and become more efficient? Well, every aspect of the manufacturing process can be measured! It is important to quantify meaningful indicators that help the organization achieve its goals.

Scrap Happens! The Importance of Minimizing and Removing Scrap

12/18/2015 Electronics, chemicals, metal, food... scrap happens in all industries and to some extent, it’s unavoidable. In most production processes, there will always be some amount of unusable product such as subpar raw material, product that was destroyed or damaged during the production phase, or finished goods that did not meet customer specifications. Reducing the amount of scrap or waste produced, as well as dealing with unavoidable scrap effectively, are two keys to reducing production costs. Alternatives to Saleable Inventory The goal of the manufacturing process is to produce in saleable inventory.

The Importance of Enhancing Your Plant Layout

10/2/2015 The end goal of every manufacturer is to build a superior product which brings value to the customer at a reasonable cost. But, how this is accomplished relies on having an efficient and effective workflow within the plant. The process of taking in raw materials and transforming them into finished goods can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be! Optimizing Your Layout The optimal layout for manufacturing space is determined by a combination of location, logistics, and product specifications.

Inventory Management: Striking the Right Balance

9/18/2015 “That order will be delivered within the next day. It will be picked and shipped as soon as I hit ENTER. Thank you so much for making us your number one supplier. We value your business”. Once the ENTER key is pressed, will the inventory be available to fulfill the order? Does the computerized inventory system actually show what is available in the warehouse? Nervously, you strike the key praying the promise of next day delivery is met. Inventory management is vital to the operation and success of any organization.

Celebrate Michigan Manufacturing and American Quality!

7/2/2015 The Fourth of July is right around the corner and, right along with it, is the ushering in of vacation season. With a large embrace, we welcome the summer sun, day trips to the lake, and time with family and friends. But, in addition to the “fun things” associated with Independence Day – BBQs, playing horseshoes, and attending parades – it’s a great time to think about what is important to us as Americans: hard work, our personal liberty, and of course, the dedication of our servicemen and servicewomen.

Industry Update: Four Hot Trends in U.S. Manufacturing

4/17/2015 With the first quarter of 2015 under our belt, several aspects of the manufacturing industry have gained momentum. These trends are expected to continue and rapidly impact 21st century manufacturing around the globe. Industry Growth for the U.S. & Michigan It is a critical time for American, specifically Michigan, manufacturers. With a feeling of cautious optimism, manufacturers are experiencing upticks and improvements in business, yet they are still working harder to set a stronger foundation for growth.

Improving Your Value: Implementing Lean Enterprise

3/6/2015 In today’s global economy, we’re all looking for ways to increase production, improve efficiencies and reduce errors in all areas of our business – especially the production floor. Of course, this is easier said than done. We can’t just say we want to improve our business – our actions have to speak louder than our words. Embracing Lean Enterprise For Michigan manufacturers who want to grow their business while minimizing mistakes and waste, embracing Lean Enterprise is the solution. The roots of Lean Enterprise actually trace back to one of Michigan’s favorite fields: the automobile industry.