How Scaling Manufacturers Use Job Shop Manufacturing

In our Ultimate Guide to Job Shop Manufacturing we explored what the manufacturing process was as well as an example of how it is used within the workplace. We also delved deeper, and explored the advantages manufacturers who adopt this process receive, but we also highlighted the disadvantages. 

To summarise, Job Shop manufacturing is often difficult to organize, schedule and can be difficult to handle materials costs, lead times and levels of work. The disadvantages can certainly be daunting to any business owner not fully familiar with the process. Mitigating and counteracting these risks is possible however and in this blog, we will show you how scaling Manufacturers are doing just that!

How Scaling Manufacturers Are Using Job Shop Manufacturing

As mentioned in our previous blog, Job Shop Manufacturing can be hard to organize simply because items pass through different processes with some orders requiring a huge bill of materials (BOM). Key performance indicators are therefore key in this scenario for managers who wish to track and monitor workflow. These could range from lead times, capacity utilization of machinery, assignments and even inventory. 

What you measure is of course, dependent on the goals you want to achieve. 

Manufacturing Lead Time

The long lead time, due to the inevitable backlogs Job Shop manufacturing produces is also another major disadvantage. One way to mitigate this risk is to calculate your manufacturing lead time. By doing so, you will have a strong idea on how fast products or components move within your workflow. Having a stronger understanding of this metric will help you identify areas to improve shortening your lead time and improving overall customer experience. 

To do this, there are two steps; Preprocessing lead time and processing lead time.

When preprocessing lead times you are within the planning stage; in short, when your purchases go out and no work has been done. 

When processing lead times, you are calculating the time it takes for materials to arrive, for processes to be completed throughout your business and finally, the waiting times in between.

By calculating the manufacturing lead time, you can avoid miscommunication with customers and improve overall customer experience by not keeping them waiting longer than they should need to. Of course lead times will always risk being impacted on machine downtimes, so it’s best to familiarize yourself with 5 ways to reduce manufacturing downtime. 

Production Scheduling

The inconsistency of orders and the variations of product designs and components can often lead to  a backlog. It is therefore important that production schedules are precise. 

Your production schedule should be dynamic, fully utilizing resources within a workshop designed to optimize efficiency. Carefully planning your workshop layout will help you and your organization pinpoint areas of maximum efficiency. The implementation of 5S principles is a useful model for arranging your workstations and inventory in places of convenience. 

You can also do this by arranging your orders into runners, repeaters and strangers. (Check out this short video guide to help you here). 

  • Runners – are items with a low turnaround and will make up the bulk of your orders
  • Repeaters – are regular products like runners, but do not have the same level of frequency
  • Strangers – are products which aren’t as orderly as runners and repeaters. 

Efficiently arranging workstations will enable you to prioritize orders to maximum effect. In this case, runners first followed by repeaters and then strangers. 

Supply Chain Management

Whilst also linking to production scheduling, manufacturing lead times will affect your supply chain management. 

Check out 3 Ways You Can Improve Your Supply Chain and be one step ahead with your supply chain management!

It is important to efficiently manage your supply chain due to the variations in volume. For example, a component may require low direct labour hours but incur a large bill of materials and will take up most of your time with supply management as result. Particularly when gathering the materials for production. 

Our blog on “3 Ways you can improve your supply chain” linked above, explores some of the ways manufacturers including ourselves are mitigating risks and improving how we manage our supply chain.

If you’re a beginner or experienced in the world of manufacturing, mastering job shop manufacturing is key to your business’ survival and growth. You should now be able to identify the steps you must take to succeed and benefit from improved customer service. 

Don’t forget to share this article and tag us on social media with your thoughts. Is Job shop manufacturing something you are exploring for your business? Are you a Job Shop veteran with even more advise? Let us know.

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