Manufacturing process improvement project ideas

The beauty of manufacturing process improvement is that there are so many different areas to tackle. From HR processes to equipment maintenance, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding improvement opportunities. But if you’re struggling to get started, maybe these project ideas will help give you some inspiration.

Free template!

Download this free Excel template to complete an extensive manufacturing risk assessment at your site.

Equipment and tools

Most manufacturing processes involve heavy machinery like conveyor belts and reach trucks. But even in the offices, workers have radio, laptop computers, and other technology equipment that needs upkeep. So, the sheer amount of equipment in a manufacturing facility means there are endless opportunities for improvement in this area.

Here are some equipment-related projects your team can tackle:

Human resource management

Because people are unpredictable, the HR department is always a great place to find improvement opportunities. It’s also a good choice because human resources involves so many different processes.

Here are some examples of HR-related projects you can do within your manufacturing facility:

  • Documenting and tracking HR investigations
  • Collecting and importing employee data
  • Organizing employee documents
  • Tracking employee timecards, PTO, etc.
  • Submitting payroll

Training and onboarding

Many companies overlook the importance of employee training and onboarding. It can be a major factor in the safety and overall performance of your manufacturing facility. Whether you hire contract employees or full-time workers, everyone needs access to quality information.

Here are some manufacturing process improvements you can do for training and onboarding:

  • Comprehension and retention of training material
  • Incident rates for workers in their first month(s) of employment
  • On-time completion of training requirements
  • Quality and relevancy of training materials (videos, PowerPoints, tests, etc.)

Supply chain improvements

Depending on your business, you may have a large supply chain to consider. Ask yourself: “are we spending too much or waiting too long for any of the materials we need?”

Unlike some of the other categories in this list, you might be limited in what you can do. And that’s because you may not be able to renegotiate your supplier contracts or reconfigure your process. But keep these in mind so that when your contracts expire, you’re ready to get an even better deal or potentially switch sources.

  • Lowering the cost of raw materials
  • Adding new suppliers to the mix (diversify sources)
  • Decreasing product lead time by reducing material sourcing times
  • Streamlining the shipment of raw materials or components

Manufacturing processes

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without considering the actual production process itself. Not all facilities have the same processes, so you’ll need to use this list as a jumping off point. Consider what your manufacturing goals are, what you’re currently producing, and where you can improve output.

Here are some manufacturing process improvement ideas you can consider:

  • Decrease DPMO (defects per million opportunities)
  • Increase process throughput
  • Simplify process steps for each area of production
  • Automate parts of the process that create bottlenecks

As you can see from this list, there really are countless ways to improve manufacturing processes. When it comes to implementing your improvements, EHS software is a powerful tool you can use to manage and oversee the process from start to finish.

Tracking process improvements with Frontline ACT

Frontline ACT is an EHS action tracking system that you can use for all types of workplace improvements, incidents, and more. It allows you to delegate action items to members of your operation and track their progress.

This saves you time by eliminating the administrative work of project management. But it also prevents projects from falling through the cracks and helps ensure efficiency. If you’re interested in learning more about Frontline ACT as a process improvement tool, book a demo with our sales team.