Manufacturing managers face a constant juggle between managing their supply chain, the customers’ wants and needs, and creating and developing products. Admin in particular is vital for businesses and must be done with 100% accuracy. However, it can often be challenging for such companies to find the time to make sure admin tasks like document production, bookkeeping, and data entry are done correctly.
Streamlining the admin process will make sure manufacturing managers aren’t wasting time doing crucial, time-consuming tasks. Instead, they can focus on other areas of the business which will maintain the success and growth of the company. When it comes to streamlining the administrative process, ensuring consistency and time-efficiency is fundamental. Here are some actions manufacturing managers can take today to improve their in-house administration process, as well as improve workflow.
Assess Current Processes and Workflows
The first step manufacturing managers must take is to assess their current processes and workflows. This makes it easier to get a clearer picture of the exact way things are conducted within the business and identify areas that you could improve.
For example, it may be useful to list the processes and workflow in the most basic of terms. Note down the benefits of each process and list each individual involved in the process. Once everything is written down in black and white, this makes it far easier to establish what further steps are needed to enhance operation.
It is surprising to find out just how many processes and workflows are carried out within a manufacturing company to complete tasks and goals. Many of these processes are interrelated and may not be as important.
The next step is to note down a list of processes. Sort these from the most important to the least. Doing so helps establish which process to streamline first.
Take Advantage of Modern Technology
Technology has come on leaps and bounds over the past decade. This means in 2022, manufacturing managers should be taking full advantage of this. Modern technology offers the business all kinds of solutions. To start, it’s time to check what tech systems are currently being used. When identifying this, it may be better for tasks to be outsourced.
When it comes to tasks like invoicing, PDFs may be used. There are specialist tools manufacturing managers can use to compress PDFs. This can save storage space, create a faster transfer, and reduce costs. Using the latest tech and software can hugely benefit manufacturing managers and help them effectively streamline their administrative processes.
Delegate Tasks Responsibly
As the manager of a manufacturing company, some tasks will need to be handed over to others to complete. One of the best methods to ensure operational efficiency is by delegating administrative tasks to qualified or proficient individuals within the business. Consider these tasks as hats that must be passed over to new managers and executives that join the team.
Before delegating admin tasks, make sure to carefully vet the team. This will make sure that tasks are assigned to the right people. Should there not be anyone in the company who is detailed-oriented enough to handle responsibilities, such as invoicing or bookkeeping, it may be wise to consider hiring someone else who possesses this skillset.
Automate Repetitive Administrative Tasks
In addition to the above, there are other tasks within a manufacturing company that can be automated. These include payroll processing, employee onboarding process, customer support, and task assignments. To make operations simpler, consider using workflow management systems. These can automate the tasks listed above.
Thankfully, there are a wide variety of powerful tools, software, and apps manufacturing managers can use that are specifically created to help businesses scale their company processes. When automating these monotonous processes with the solutions noted, this will save lots of time for both the manager and employees. Also, there could be a potential saving of thousands of pounds. Make sure that you pick the right automation software system to do this task. Some may be free to use, whereas others will require a monthly subscription fee.
Bring In a Dependency Management Model
The project management model known as ‘dependency management’ is an effective strategy manufacturing managers can use in their admin process. A dependency is where a project, activity, or milestone is dependent upon another milestone or task being completed before it can begin or be completed. This is very much the case with the majority of administrative tasks too. What milestone it is will depend on the task being completed.
A customer contract is a good example of this. Should a contract not be submitted by a deadline, this can have a major implication on the start date. Another example of this is invoicing. Many manufacturing companies spend a huge chunk of their time reconciling payments, which could otherwise be automated.
Speak to the Team
To streamline admin processes and improve workflow, there must be key improvements to aim for. Whether it’s simplifying the approval process, spending less time on tasks, or making better use of advanced technology, there are certain tasks that may be under control, whereas others may need a serious overhaul.
It is crucial to pinpoint areas that need to be urgently improved. One way to do this is by getting feedback from the team. Communication skills are a must in this instance. You must involve the right team members from the very beginning. Make sure to collate their ideas and be on the listen-out for any concerns employees have.
Allocate Time Per Task
Concerning the administration tasks of the company, how often are tasks completed versus how often they should be completed? Other questions include how long does the task take to complete from beginning to end? The approval time should always be taken into consideration. This information is necessary when considering replacing or outsourcing a task with technology.
It is important to compare the length of time the task will take both manually and via automation. This helps to compare costs, as well as calculate potential savings.
Concentrate on Quick Wins
After mapping out all the above, it’s likely there will be inefficient processes in the way, including obvious areas of improvement. Make sure to speak to the responsible owner of the task and incorporate some ‘quick wins’. In some cases, a few minor changes will help speed up the process and make it more efficient.
There should be deadlines set on quick wins too. It is important to monitor any improvements. This will ensure no additional time is wasted.
These days, many manufacturing companies focus all their efforts on increasing production efficiency. However, this can come at a cost to the administration and management side of things. Regarding administrative processes, modern technology has given businesses the chance to enhance their internal processes by changing from manual strategies to automation.
Admin is often a time-consuming task. Should it not be done correctly, there is more of a demand for errors to be corrected. For manufacturing managers, streamlining the administrative processes helps boost the efficiency of the whole process, decreases the time admin takes, provides greater accuracy and up-to-date information, as well as identifies any training needs in regard to managing admin.