Labor and material shortages, along with inflation are taking their toll on small businesses, making it more and more difficult to meet the demands of consumers. One of the key reasons these businesses continue to struggle with meeting these demands is due to a lack of efficiency. Often, the most successful businesses are the most efficient. This can mean with resources, money, or time.
Efficiency works well for a business in multiple ways. For example, while you may charge more for your services, you’re far more efficient than your competitors. That’s why your customers are willing to pay far more for your services. If you are running a business that relies on shipping products, the question then becomes, what helps improve workshop efficiency?
High-Quality Shop Products
The easiest way to ensure being able to depend on your workforce is to have high-quality products throughout your shop. Would you believe that the quality of the plastic wrap you use can make a world of difference in how your items arrive at their destination? When it comes to shipping products, regardless of whether they are shipped locally or nationally, the better the quality of the packaging and shipping materials, the better protected your products are to ensure they arrive safely to their destination. That’s why you should rely on shipping products like:
- Pallet Plastic Wrap: What materials is your clear plastic wrap made of? Is it made with LLDPE Film? The reason you should check is that is regarded as one of the best options you can select for strength and durability. While this may not seem like an important detail to focus on, having a stronger quality of plastic around your products may keep them from shifting or getting scratched. That means a higher quality product is delivered to your customers.
- Bag Opener: While it may seem like a simple task, opening and sealing hundreds of bags a day is a perfect example of a simple task that actually can double a worker’s time. While this activity seems simple, having to do it constantly throughout the day can create obstacles. An opener is a great way to cut time and improve efficiency.
- Biohazard Zip Bag: If you deal with very sensitive and hazardous materials, keeping your workspace organized and clean may not just be suitable for efficiency, but a requirement based on the materials you are moving. Quality bags and packing materials mean quality and safe packaging and shipping.
- Reclosable bags: If you are shipping smaller items with your packages, make sure that they are put in secure, reclosable bags. This will not only be a great convenience for you and allow your team to package things faster, but also allow the recipient to keep their parts together, ensuring they are less likely to lose something.
Small steps to improving how your company runs are key to building momentum. Do not look for drastic changes. If you can make a five percent improvement, that can lead to a major difference in productivity throughout the year and save you thousands or more. Focus on where the small changes can be the biggest help and make the needed improvements.
What Hurts Shop Efficiency?
Another thing to look for is what may slow down shop efficiency. It could be a variety of little things that do not seem like much, but they add up to hours of lost time and work. Charting how efficient your team is can be a great way to test what new improvements are showing the most benefit. Poor training can also lead to poor efficiency along with:
- Messes: Leaving messes, spills and other debris around the workplace is never a good idea as it can lead to injuries. It can also lead to poor production as workers have to avoid these messes just to fulfill a task. A clean work environment is an efficient one.
- Poor organization of work materials: What is the workflow like in the shop? When someone needs to grab the pallet plastic wrap, is it in a place that maximizes efficiency? Take some time to adjust the equipment and materials you use to save time which means saving money.
- Scheduling errors: One of the most challenging aspects of running a business is meeting everyone’s schedule needs. If you have a busy day coming up, try to plan and give yourself as many advantages as possible throughout the day.
- Bigger shipments: Planning goes beyond just expecting to have a busy day. A common mistake workshops make is that they do not anticipate enough workspace for larger shipments. Instead, they focus on storage space. While that makes sense, it does create a disadvantage as the workspace is not large enough to accommodate the bigger shipment and in many cases, is made smaller to allow for more storage space. This oversight in the workspace room for bigger shipments leads to major delays in offloading and loading which delays the entire process.
Improving your use of time and materials will help you improve efficiency. Remember, just because things are going well does not mean that they are set. There are always areas to improve and that small improvement you make today may make the shopping experience better for someone who becomes a loyal customer. That’s why it’s worth the little bit of extra effort to build your business.
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