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How to Drive Continuous Improvement in Manufacturing

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

In the economic situation, most companies are facing today, many are looking for short-term strategies to maintain their operations. However, what is clear from looking at the history of successful companies is that long-term strategies, such as continuous improvement, cannot be abandoned for future growth and success.

In today’s hyper-competitive industry, those who don’t improve risk being left behind. Continuous improvement has long been the goal of a range of methodologies, including Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, and more. So, what is continuous improvement in the manufacturing industry? How do companies track, and measure these improvements? Let’s dive deeper to see how continuous improvement processes turn improvements into value for the organization.

Continuous Improvement, mostly known as Kaizen, is basically a small step-by-step incremental improvement strategy. It is based upon a belief that continuous improvement can be brought about by a never-ending series of small changes.

On the other hand, continuous improvement is a long-term business strategy that improves companies in terms of customer satisfaction, quality, speed to market, flexibility and reduced cost.

Continuous improvement is exactly what it means. Designing a continuous improvement strategy requires the creation of any policy or process within a workplace that helps to focus on improving the way tasks are done on a regular basis. This can be through consistent incremental improvements or by focusing on accomplishing larger process improvements over time.

Benefits of Continuous Improvement

With so much on your plate already, why should you prefer continuous improvement for your industry? Before applying a continuous improvement strategy it is important to understand its benefits of it. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits you should apply to this effort.

Improved Employee Satisfaction & Morale

A Gallup poll of US workers in 2020 showed that just 20% of employees were engaged in their job. The poll also showed that the majority (50.8%) of employees were “not engaged” and 17% of employees were “actively disengaged”. Statistics show that there is a great opportunity for improvement, as caring for employees has many financial and social benefits.

Continuous improvement, at its core, is designed to empower employees to solve problems that bug them and gradually improve efficiency in the workplace. In turn, this can help encourage a more active and engaged workforce that everyone feels is an important and valuable part of the company's goals. This can boost employee morale, reduce employee turnover and help drive more user adoption of any new technology.

Increased Productivity

The continuous improvement strategy focuses on eliminating waste, improving product quality and better customer service, and increasing efficiencies to optimize employee productivity. So, it is specifically important to implement efficient processes to reduce waste in the manufacturing industry.

Embracing a continuous improvement strategy gives your employees the tools they need to get their woek done and can result in reduced downtime, reduced operational costs, improved customer service, competitive advantage and higher profitability.

One of the main goals of implementing a continuous improvement strategy is to further streamline processes to produce quality products. In fact, a study shows that about 54% of all improvements impact quality, which in turn increases other metrics such as customer satisfaction and simplifies the overall production process.

Even if things are going very well, there are always opportunities to make them better. Continuous improvement not only eliminates waste but also reduces the quality problems from this cost, time, and resource drain. With CI, you can hold your teams accountable to higher levels of quality by fine-tuning every aspect of the innovation path.

The Bottom Line

The continuous improvement provides a way for your business to get better at any given time, so you can help reduce waste and optimize results. The continuous improvement strategies and their benefits above can help you achieve your business goals.

Are you looking to gain a performance edge for your company? Our Industry Engineer experts can help you get started. Contact us today to learn how to build a continuous improvement culture! Get in touch with us and check out our latest blog posts on creating continuous improvement cultures, lean environment, digitalization and more.



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