When is it Time to Expand?
It is important to only take expansion into consideration when your company is able, and the products or services provided are in a high demand. While expanding your company it is extremely important to remain efficient and productive without the sacrifice of quality or safety.
There are several questions to ask yourself before considering expansion.
Do you have a loyal customer base who is asking you to grow?
Has your business been profitable for at least two years?
Do you have a team of trusted employees?
Is your industry growing?
Is there a need for related products or services in the industry?
If expansion is the next step for your company, here are some steps to continue increasing productivity on the manufacturing floor.
Evaluate the company's current workflow
By introducing value mapping, a company can pinpoint their weaknesses in the current workflow. While taking into consideration the people, the technology and processes required for production, value mapping will also track the impact certain changes have on the company's system.
Invest within - continued employee education
Continued employee education is extremely valuable in the manufacturing industry. With a constantly changing and evolving field, it is vital to keep employees educated on the newest and smartest machinery available. Remember, a machine is only as productive as the operator.
Set achievable expectations
Setting realistic expectations is extremely important during expansion. Customer expectations such as pressures from production along with strict deadlines often leads to an unattainable goal. Employees become discouraged when they are unable to reach their set goal, often sacrificing quality and safety to meet deadlines. To ensure punctuality, high quality products and safe procedures there must be clearly defined objectives.
Upgrades in machinery will help a company to stay relevant and competitive in a new and evolving market. While this new equipment has the potential to increase productivity on the manufacturing floor, they also require maintenance to remain operating at an optimum level.
Keeping your machines well maintained is crucial to remain efficient and productive. Recent studies show a correlation between costs associated with downtime and the time/budget invested into preventative measures. New age equipment can be costly to set up initially but have positive long-term effects.
Uhle, K. (2015, February 25th) When Is It Time to Expand Your Business? Retrieved from: http://armstrongsteel.com/network/small-business-owners-network/expand-business-into-metal-building/#.WyuV40munIU
William, D. (2016, June 7th) 8 Effective Small Business Expansion Tips to Grow Your Current Status Retrieved from: https://smallbiztrends.com/2016/04/small-business-expansion-tips.html
Hollis, R. (2015, February 25th) It’s Time to Grow Your Business. Retrieved From: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-b-hollis/its-time-to-grow-your-business_b_6746256.html