3 Most Inefficient Processes Plant Managers Should Evaluate
Plant Managers are tasked with building processes that keep plants functioning smoothly. In many plants, processes have been running the same way for years. The processes work and the company still maintains a profit, so no one decides to change them.
The idea is that if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. But, just because you’ve always done things one way, doesn’t mean that it is the most efficient way to do things.
If you, as a Plant Manager, have not evaluated the efficiency of your plant processes in a while, it’s time to take a look again.
Data Entry and Repetitive Administrative Tasks
Plant managers are often tasked with not just running a plant, but managing the office and all of its tasks too. If you are still using paper, you might be making your life harder. Today’s well-run plants use digital platforms to handle the repetitive front office tasks and data entry so information is streamlined.
The argument against digital office tasks is the lack of a paper trail. But, paper trails can be filled with errors, and they create massive piles of paper that are difficult to track. With a digital platform, electronic trails are recorded and are easy to access.
Should you move on to another company or need to be out of the office for an extended period of time, someone could step in to manage in your absence without fear that chaos would ensue. That is why digital records are vital.
Digital platforms also help Plant Managers remain compliant with all necessary federal, state, and local regulations.
Platforms are designed to make administrative, front office, and data entry tasks efficient and organized. You can hire virtual assistants to help with repetitive tasks, leaving on-site employees to do more thoughtful tasks.
If you, the Plant Manager, are doing the bookkeeping, data entry, and other repetitive tasks, it is time to move into the 21st century and look to the benefits of digital administrative platforms so you can get out of the office and back to managing the plant.
With a digital platform, your plant can become more eco-friendly as your reliance on paper will decrease.
Recruiting and Hiring
Another commonly inefficient process that slows down plants and creates more work for managers is the process of recruiting, hiring, and training employees.
Plant Managers and other plant leaders will have some involvement in human resources, but the majority of the work can be outsourced to a staffing firm or an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
Like other administrative and front office tasks, human resources management requires a serious amount of paperwork. The trail can be overwhelming, especially when it is done “like it always has been.”
Recruiting and hiring have become a digital process that staffing agencies and ATS can do without the need for cases manilla folders and reams of resumes.
Today, nearly all aspects of recruiting and hiring are done digitally. Applicants are looking for jobs on human resources websites or career pages. They apply online. They attach PDF copies of resumes to their digital applications.
Paper resumes and job applications are passé; the standard in human resources is to be 100% digital. Even interviews can be done digitally via Skype.
Agencies and apps work with behind-the-scenes tasks like sharing leads with hiring websites, vetting candidates, and scheduling interviews. Why use a valuable Plant Manager for these tasks, when they can be handled by apps and agencies who specialize in human resources tasks.
After the repetitive administrative tasks are finished, the Plant Manager or other plant leaders step in to complete the hiring process and use their industry knowledge to sort through the remaining applicants.
When the process runs efficiently, plant leaders will not have to look at resumes until the agency has made the final cuts.
Facility Maintenance and Management
The inefficiencies with facility maintenance happen when Plant Managers are reactive rather than proactive. When maintenance is reactive, plants have downtime.
Most plants have scheduled maintenance, especially to meet the necessary regulations. During scheduled maintenance, preventative measures should be taken to avoid the need for reactive repairs.
If you run a chemical plant or a refinery, there are tanks, drains, and everything in between that need to be properly maintained to keep your plant running smoothly. When these go down, plants slow and revenue drops. Plant Managers have an efficient (and underutilized!) tool that allows them to keep their equipment clean and fully functional without any stress: robotic cleaning systems.
Plant Managers also have access to diagnostics and predictive maintenance schedules that helps them plan maintenance schedules with the goal of keeping the plant running smoothly. Collectively, Plant Managers who disregard predictive maintenance and proactive maintenance save billions of dollars each year.
Unplanned downtime has always been one of the biggest challenges in industrial sectors. A report from Altium states that “manufacturing companies lose $50 billion annually in unplanned downtime.”
It’s time to think proactively to potentially save your company billions. What are you doing to get away from the old-fashioned idea of reacting to maintenance problems, instead of using data to develop a preventative schedule?
Shutting down parts of the plant and moving employees so they can clean the tanks, ponds, ditches and sumps in potentially hazardous environments, robotic cleaning systems can do the job without needing a break.
Robots do not need light, heat, or air conditioning. They do not need safety gear, lunch breaks, or OSHA training. They can be programmed to do the job around toxic chemicals in confined spaces and extreme temperatures.
This is truly efficiency at its best.
When you give maintenance tasks to robots, your human employees do not have to be put into dangerous situations. You keep your plant safe, your equipment clean, and your plant functioning at its best.
For all other maintenance, outsource with a facility services partner that has experience in your field. They will keep your facility inspection-ready so when inspections arise, you’ll be ready without having to stress and plan for it.
This allows Plant Managers to stay focused on what matters, the running of the plant. Outsourcing to robotic cleaning systems and industrial cleaning companies reduces plant downtime and keeps employees focused on their jobs.
Plant Managers are busy; they wear many hats in their goal to keep their plants running smoothly. Reducing the number of hats is as easy as outsourcing some tedious, repetitive tasks. Administrative tasks, human resources steps, and cleaning tasks can largely be done with digital applications, systems, and robots.
What are the inefficient processes at your plant? What can you do to keep your employees safe? Reduce your reliance on unwieldy paper trails? How can you streamline your recruiting and hiring processes?