Common issues that affect manufacturing lead times

If you want to streamline your operations and increase your productivity, then you need to look at reducing your manufacturing lead times. However, there are often roadblocks to lead time reduction that can hold production back and need to be tackled before they impact on your business as a whole.

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Running out of stock

Imagine not having the component you need to finish a project, whether that’s a nut and bolt or a spiral duct. Waiting for new stock to be delivered can be costly and waste valuable time, so you need to adopt either an automated vendor managed inventory (VMI) approach or switch to Just In Time (JIT) inventory management so that components are ordered and delivered in direct response to your usage.

Lead time variability

When lead time varies from supplier to supplier it can be impossible to predict delivery and coordinate production. Operations will slow and ordering excess inventory can really place a strain on your available budget. The solution? Stick to one reliable supplier who you know will deliver what you want, when you want it, on one agreed date.

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Minimise delays

What do a road accident, tropical storm or slip of the finger on a keyboard have in common? All can derail the supply process resulting in inevitable delays. Finding a supplier on your doorstep may not be feasible, but if you work with a supplier who keeps their warehouse well stocked with components like that spiral duct, you can minimise shipping delays and streamline the supply chain so that disruptions are less likely.

Create subassemblies

Are you trying to complete too many processes on site? Then stop and rationalise. You may be taking longer to complete a project than you need to, which in turn lowers output and impacts RoI. Setting up offsite subassemblies can have a beneficial impact on production, meaning you can make and sell more and increase your profitability.

Disorganised supply

If you went into the warehouse, could you lay hands on the components you need? Warehouse organisation is one of the key factors in reducing lead times as your production can be significantly streamlined, particularly in combination with an inventory control programme and an off-site facility for surplus stock. Being able to lay hands on the components you need will significantly reduce your lead times and boost productivity.

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