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3 Risks that Are Hurting Your Steel Shop’s Productivity

For steel production to run smoothly, a million little bits and pieces need to work together in a seamless, timely manner. Sadly, this is not always the case. There are three main pitfalls in production that can result in lost resources and failed projects. Read on to find out what you need to consider to ensure a smooth production process. 

1. Gaps in workload and productivity

A big part of the workday is spent waiting around for something, like material, the next cut list, or the truck to be loaded or unloaded. For production to work efficiently, you need to be on top of who or which team is doing what, in what order and with what timelines. It’s a lot of information, coordination and preparation. If you lack vital knowledge, there is the chance that you evaluate workloads wrong, and either underuse your resources or find yourself understaffed. Both are costly for the company, and even more so if they persist in your production chain. To get the most out of production, you need to make sure that you optimize the entire workflow in a way that allows maximum productivity.

2. Failed scheduling 

A product only has value if it’s delivered on schedule. To successfully plan a project, several things need to be taken into account. Many shops run several projects simultaneously, so first, you need to have a clear understanding of the priorities of each project’s schedule. Second, you need to be on top of material handling. If routing to and from subcontractors is not optimal, you risk wasting time and material. 

Finally, smooth operations require everyone to know what they need to do both now and in the future. Inefficient or unclear communication to and within the team about expectations and deadlines can result in unsuccessful production, late deliveries or no deliveries at all.

3. Inefficient workflows slow down shops

When planning your daily shop operations, you need to ensure that planned deliveries are shipped on time, every single day. If your staff doesn’t know exactly what’s expected of them or if you don’t have clear, updated information of inventory levels, it’s tricky to ensure that the right material is ready at the right time. Your shop’s efficiency suffers when staff are frequently running to you asking for drawings, material locations or other instructions.

Smooth workflows require real-time information and streamlined processes. If they are not in order, your business slows down because time and effort go into tasks that could be avoided with better planning. 

If all parts don’t work together seamlessly, your production is in danger. Ideally, different parts of the production process should come together effortlessly, resulting in a cost-effective, desired outcome. The above factors, however, put this at risk. Each pitfall has the potential to disrupt production at a different stage of the process. If workload, scheduling and external collaboration are not all carefully planned, you may end up with too little time, unleveraged manpower or, at worst, a late delivery. 

Real-time production and inventory information for everyone at McCombs Steel