Three Leading Causes of Bottlenecks (And How Job Scheduling Software Can Help)
Has another bottleneck slowed your shop’s production? There are few things more detrimental to a shop’s success than a bottleneck. It creates havoc up and down the production line and could cause you to miss deadlines with multiple customers. A bottleneck could even delay payments and negatively impact your cash flow.
Sometimes they are caused by unpredictable events, such as a work center going down. However, if bottlenecks are a frequent occurrence in your shop, that could be a sign of a larger problem. The good news is that bottlenecks don’t have to happen. Job Scheduling Software can help.
Below are a few common causes of bottlenecks, along with steps you can take to eliminate the issue. Don’t let bottlenecks slow down your production and damage your relationships with your customers. Take action today to remove bottlenecks from your production process.
Your process flows through one person.
Bottlenecks are often a result of a process in which information flows directly through one person. A team member may have questions about a job or decisions may need to be made about certain materials or other resources. Or perhaps team members need direction on which jobs to work on next.
There is a broad range of decisions that have to be made on the shop floor every day. If all of those decisions flow through one person, production could come to a halt. That’s especially true if the individual in charge is dealing with multiple issues at once.
You can minimize this risk by giving your team members more authority to make decisions for themselves. For example, you could use an ERP system’s job scheduling software module that is accessible through mobile tablets. Your team members can then use the tablets to see information about materials, scheduling, and much more. That gives them the data they need to make fast decisions and keep the process moving forward.
See how shop management scheduling software can help you deliver on time, every time.
You have too many jobs that aren’t profitable.
What’s the average profit margin on your jobs? Don’t know the answer? That could be a problem, and it could be one of the reasons why your shop struggles with bottlenecks. Many shops assume that they are quoting accurate prices. However, if they don’t have a clear understanding of their costs for materials, labor, and other resources, they could be quoting prices that have little margin or even no margin.
That issue can cause a ripple effect on your shop floor. When your jobs aren’t profitable, you are forced to take on additional work to generate cash flow and support your shop’s operations. The end result may be too much work but too few resources to handle it. This ultimately leads to bottlenecks.
Fortunately, you can resolve the bottleneck issue by also addressing the estimating issue. Again, ERP software can help you gain more transparency into your material and labor costs. That can help you create an accurate estimate that generates sufficient cash flow and profit. Now, you only take on the amount of work you can complete and not overload your floor with too many jobs.
You repeatedly take on last minute jobs.
Your best customer contacts you for a rush job. What’s your response? If your instinct is to accept the work and make it happen, that could be a cause of your bottlenecks.
Last-minute jobs aren’t always a bad thing and can be an excellent way to generate cash flow. You may be able to charge a higher rate to rush this work which can strengthen your relationship with your customers.
However, if you don’t have the resources to do a last-minute job, it could backfire. Your materials and labor could be stretched thin, and other jobs could get pushed to the side.
Technology can give you the information you need to decide whether or not to take a last-minute job. For example, Shoptech’s job scheduling software, E2, has a capacity planning whiteboard component that allows you to change different variables, such as labor hours, machine usage, and much more. It will permit you the capability to see how a last-minute job may impact your production.
Ready to eliminate bottlenecks from your production process?
Our E2 Experts welcome the opportunity to learn more about your shop’s challenges. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.