Manufacturers go through all kinds of waves that fluctuate from being chaotically busy to moving extremely slow.

When business is slow, it’s the perfect time to work ON the business. Slowdowns are a time to seize the opportunity to re-tool the business and prepare for the next wave of orders. We want to be sure to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Manufacturers should strive to learn from the previous busy waves and correct any deficiencies in the business so they can make improve efficiencies during busy times.

Here are three activities to focus on during these slow times:

Cross-train – This is especially relevant if you have a single point of failure, such as one employee that can perform a task or job. Create a plan to address any deficiencies. Moreover, if there is an opportunity for layoffs in the future, you want to ensure you have a qualified team to absorb all work duties after a reduction in your workforce.

Train your employees – There are always employees we want to develop, but don’t always have the time. Invest in your people so that after the slow down they can handle those tough tasks you are ready to delegate.


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Implement improvements – Busy times present an obstacle as we struggle to have time to make improvements. Make a hard push to implement as many improvements as possible. Empower your employees to implement those projects they’ve been thinking about. For instance: Organize the shop, re-design a filing system, modify a redundant form or report, etc.

Work on a ramp-up/recovery plan – After a slowdown, there will be a time you wish you had the time you have now. Use this time to evaluate your goals and where the business stands against them. Whether you are ahead of plan, a slowdown will affect that; and if you are behind the plan, engage your team to build a plan to recover.

Are your improvement efforts losing momentum because of slow times? Schedule a call to discuss how we can help.

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