If you have been tasked with product production with a tight turnaround, you may be pressed for time and wondering how to get the materials produced within the specified timeframe. There may also be the added pressure of ensuring the quality is not compromised and your equipment and workforce are not overburdened.
While deadlines can be overwhelming, they create a sense of urgency, prompting the business to focus on the key goal of getting the product to the market in time and enabling it to compete in a rapidly evolving and competitive market. Here is a helpful guide on getting materials produced in time to meet a product deadline.
How to manage material production to meet the deadline
For every product, its production is a project that comes with a deadline specifying its exact date of completion, i.e., from design to product launch. The process comprises scheduling and identification of milestones with specified target dates. While even the most carefully planned projects can fall behind due to unforeseen delays or any issues, there are a few things you can do to ensure timely production.
Streamline procurement for sourcing materials
To deliver your product to the market within time and on budget, you will need to work with suppliers to acquire the materials required for manufacturing the product. You may need to procure material from one supplier or multiple sources to ensure you have all the requisite components.
In either case, the important thing is you do not waste much time tracking products or resolving wrong order issues. If you have the right vendor, you can eliminate the chances of errors and ensure the materials get to the manufacturing floor within the committed timeframe. This will help you stay on schedule. Nowadays, vendors also use software to streamline their ordering processes, eliminate the issues of wrong or delayed orders, and issue accurate invoices to clients.
It is also critical to calculate accurately when and how much material you will require for the production process. Miscalculations can lead to a halt in the production process, and the costs of unplanned downtime can be hefty.
Define specific targets for product development
Once the product idea is developed, design specifications are established, and the required material is procured for manufacturing, it is time for product development. The process may be divided into smaller tasks or milestones with specific deadlines. Before mass production, a prototype is built with the procured materials to test its quality and performance and identify any issues or areas for improvement.
You can employ various tools or processes to increase accuracy and reduce production time to speed up this step. For instance, manufacturing facilities often use aluminum prototype tools to create molds for producing prototype parts so that the product can be tested quickly before they commit to the time and cost of mass-scale manufacturing. This also helps reduce the cost of prototype building and ensures consistent quality.
Identifying tasks dependencies
Like any other part of the supply chain, product manufacturing requires coordination and synchronization so that all processes are in harmony and complement each other. It is hence important to identify any task dependencies and define order so that you can meet the deadline. Once the various tasks interlinkages are identified, crucial tasks are prioritized, and order is defined, production can proceed according to plan and hopefully without any hiccups causing delays.
Have backup plans
Disruptions are common in even the most harmonious and streamlined processes. However, as a manufacturing concern, one major mistake you can make is not having a backup plan. This can lead to delays, disruption in the production line, loss of productivity, and higher cost of production if you need to procure material at the last minute. It can also lead to you losing out on a lucrative opportunity, can affect your relationship with the customer, and will reflect poorly on the business.
Hence, you must have alternatives planned to cope with any unforeseen delays, particularly in terms of material procurement, as you are dependent on an external source for provisioning.
Delivering a product on time is important for the business to uphold its reputation, maintain a healthy relationship with customers and survive amidst the competition. Whether you are unable to meet deadlines due to any issues in the manufacturing process or any problems at the supplier end, it will only reflect poorly on your image, and you may also miss out on opportunities as a competitor may see the chance and fill the gap.
Hence it is important to streamline the product development process from start to finish, account for risk factors, and eliminate any potential problems. You can also facilitate this by employing tools and processes that can help speed up manufacturing to help you meet the deadline while maintaining quality.