One area that shouldn't be overlooked is attention to small detail. Does your shop have a place for everything? If things are just lying around or leaning against walls, you may find it hard to locate things. Maybe your missing sink or your $50 router bit is hiding behind a pile of outfall. Hunting around for missing objects lowers efficiency. We do a shop cleanup once a week. Walking into a clean, organized shop in the morning will motivate people to work. Also, having an inventory plan increases efficiency. Not having supplies when they are needed can back up jobs causing costly delays.
So we see that an efficient shop starts with a clear plan. Set up your shop to keep fabrication steps to a minimum. Keep equipment organized and in its place. Save time by having supplies on hand in advance.
With gas prices on the rise, and insurance becoming evermore costly, the need for efficiency has become paramount. Do all you can to increase the efficiency of your shop and reap the benefits.
About the author:
Jon Olson is the production and operations manager for Sterling Surfaces in Sterling, Mass. He has been a solid surface fabricator since 1982 and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.