Opening up a factory is an imposing thing. They’re complicated businesses that require a lot of technical knowledge. You’re going to need a team that’s able to handle the pressure. But that’s not all you need. As a business owner, you also need a few qualities that are going to help you keep everything in ship-shape. Here, we’ll look at a few of those most important qualities.
Manufacturing businesses run on a lot of different moving parts. It’s not just about the floor, but how secure your business practices are. For example, your equipment and inventory need a proper security system to keep them safe from potential crime. As does your data, which will undoubtedly have quite a few details about your customers. Failing to protect the most valuable aspects of the business is an easy way to lose them and lose money.
Keeping your people safe is as important as keeping your business assets safe. But most of their risk is going to come from the floor itself. Frequent safety training, briefings, and consultations should be a big part of your business. If you’re not carrying out regular risk assessments, you could be missing a big risk until it’s too late.
You owe your team more than their personal safety, of course. If you want them to be happy and engaged, you have to invest in them as much as they invest in you. The manufacturing industry is a great place to learn transferrable skills—from operating new equipment to learning lean principles that can be adapted to all other kinds of workplaces. Make sure your environment is one of mentoring and training. The more that people feel they’re getting upward momentum in their career, the more likely they are to stay.
It’s not just about how you treat people inside the business, but who you know outside of it. Most manufacturing businesses, for instance, have a lot of equipment that needs specific knowledge and maintenance you might not have. It’s not enough to know someone who can supply you with equipment for processes like fluid transfer. You need specialists you can call on when you have repairs and replacements that need done quickly in an emergency.
The idea of a successful factory that operates in silence is a myth. No longer are on-the-floor workers kept out of the loop. This means communicating with the staff at large about strategies. Not only what you all need to deliver, but if they have any advice on how to help you better deliver them.
You might not always be able to communicate face-to-face either, but you should make sure you’re not relying on asynchronous communication like email. You want to make sure the message is received as soon as its delivered, to which end project management tools can be a huge help.
Manufacturing, like all businesses, is mostly about how you manage your relationships with people above all else. How you keep them happy, safe, and qualified. Who you know that can help your business. Keep that in mind even more than the technical aspect and you’ll have a business that’s operating on the full potential of everyone involved.