3 Signs of Bottlenecks in Manufacturing

Think about the last time you were able to deliver a product on time and on budget, without any overtime from your team or delays due to the production process. If you’re struggling to remember when you were last able to do this, then there’s a likelihood you’ve got bottlenecks within your production process. 

What is a bottleneck? 

A bottleneck is when a work stage or station gets more work requests or jobs that it can process at its maximum throughput. 

Bottlenecks happen because even at full capacity, that work stage or station isn’t able to get through the backlog quick enough and send the product to the next stage, resulting in further delays. 

This has a knock on effect on the flow of work, often causing delays across the production process. 

The impact of bottlenecks in manufacturing

Bottlenecks cause delays, and can even result in processes being halted. This then means you have to juggle excess stock that’s not being used as everything is on pause. If everything is on pause, then you’re not meeting throughput targets and getting products out the door. 

From financial losses to damaged reputation, in an industry where time costs money, bottlenecks can be detrimental. Here are 3 signs you may have a bottleneck in your production process. 

Your machinery and workflows aren’t working 

Manufacturers are only as good as the machinery and processes they use. From poor factory layout, to having to constantly repair broken or old machinery, inefficient workflows and old machinery can really impact throughput. 

However, with Clarity Software’s Production and Workflow module, identifying and resolving bottlenecks within machinery and workflows is done with ease. 

You can get complete transparency of the production process from start to finish by tracking through from quote approval to live job. This enables live updates and automatic job scheduling, so no time is wasted getting things ready for production - the software has already taken care of the order and sent updates to the appropriate parties too.

Because Clarity Pro can be customised to fit specific print and signage machinery, you can monitor, schedule and predict downtime needed for services, preventing any bottlenecks due to breakdowns. This offers clear insight into where production processes are running over and where you could save time, money, and resources

Your machinery can’t meet demand

The temptation to overload machinery and push equipment beyond its capacity can be very tempting, especially when there’s tight deadlines or during peak periods. However, doing so causes even more issues, including further wear and tear on machinery (therefore increasing the chance of failure). 

If your machinery can’t meet demand, it’s either time to get new machinery, or ensure jobs are planned and tracked. Clarity Software’s Job Tracking module means you can track jobs end-to-end with complete visibility while improving production efficiency. This means you can plan the production process, manage expectations and avoid bottlenecks from overloaded machinery. 

You’re forecasting wrong 

If you want to successfully scale and meet customer demand, you need to be able to properly forecast and plan ahead. Effective forecasting means you can plan the staff, components and materials needed for the right time.

But it’s important to get it right. Over forecast and you’ll have excess stock you need to store. Under forecast and you’ll have delays in production as you don’t have the manpower or materials needed to get the job done. 

Manufacturers can effectively forecast with Clarity Software’s MRP & Nesting module

Giving you complete clarity on the materials you’ve got in stock as well as what’s currently out of stock, you can reduce stock over-buying by using what you have more effectively, move jobs into production by using materials exactly when you need them, and improve efficiency by linking materials across live jobs.

Designed to help you get the most from your resources, you can plan ahead effectively, reduce production downtime and decrease impact on the environment.

Beat bottlenecks with Clarity Software 

If you’re struggling to meet targets, get products out on time and are faced with never-ending delays, then get in touch with Clarity Software. Designed to help you work smarter, not harder, Clarity Pro and Clarity Go makes production workflows effortless and strengthens your new business pipeline. Our business management software makes a difference from day one. Request a demo.

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