Companies all over the world struggle with how to make the most out of the resources they have. Finding effective ways to invest operational capital so that the business can grow is an enormous challenge, one that is vital to ensuring survival and growth.
Options for investing money include things such as new equipment, new facilities, training, new personnel, software, and a thousand other items that could potentially help improve productivity and competitiveness.
With so many options, where should a manufacturer start?
In the case of Marlin Steel, two of the biggest focuses for investments have been factory automation and employees. Factory automation investments such as the medium frequency direct current welder have helped to vastly increase Marlin Steel’s efficiency at manufacturing tasks. Marlin has also enjoyed many benefits from its investments in employees over the years.
Why has Marlin Steel invested so heavily in its employees? Here are three of the biggest reasons:
Improving productivity is a goal that any manufacturer should be able to get behind. With smart investments in staffing, pay, and employee training, Marlin has been able to ensure that productivity on the factory floor remains high.
Incentivizing high production goals with bonuses on employee paychecks in each pay period keeps employees focused on the job, as there is an immediate reward for strong performance that can help make ends meet. Assigning bonuses to small work teams makes sure that employees work together to meet goals, as nobody wants to be the reason everyone else lost out on their bonus pay.
Investing in employee training allows workers to make the most efficient use of the automation equipment that they work with, and even maintain that equipment in peak condition.
Because of Marlin’s investments in employees, workers continuously strive to find new ways to streamline processes and improve efficiency, making the company as a whole more productive.
Employee safety is one of the most important benefits of investing in employees. This is especially true in manufacturing companies, where the risk for employee injury is high.
By investing in safety training, tools, and other resources for employees, Marlin Steel keeps valued employees safe from harm. Since investing in safety training and manufacturing tools for employees, the rate of time-lost workplace incidents at Marlin Steel has fallen dramatically. In fact, Marlin Steel has gone well over 2,350 days without a time-lost safety incident.
Because employees are working safer, production doesn’t have to grind to a halt to respond to a factory floor injury, keeping customer’s custom steel baskets rolling out of the factory and to their doorstep smoothly.
A few years ago, Marlin Steel ran into an embarrassing situation because of a lack of cross-training. There was one employee in the factory who knew how to create shipping labels for outgoing products, and nobody else could work the label-creation software and properly mark the boxes.
This employee had to take a leave of absence for a few days, right in the middle of a big production order. During this employee’s absence, completed baskets started to pile up with nowhere to go, as nobody could get the shipping labels prepped. Productivity was up, but the actual shipment of goods was as delayed at it would have been if production was going at a snail’s pace.
After this incident, Marlin Steel began to invest more heavily in employee training, with the goal of getting each employee to learn new skills so that no one employee’s absence would leave production crippled again.
Using a skills matrix to track needed skills and providing pay raises based on the skills that employees learned. Investing in pay for skills helped Marlin building a strong level of skills redundancy in the workforce, making it so that when one employee would leave for vacation, there would be two or more other employees who could cover for them and keep production rolling.
Learn more about how Marlin’s productive, safe, and versatile team of well-developed professionals can help your own company meet productivity goals with optimized custom steel baskets today. Download the case study below to see how we improved this automotive manufactuer's efficiency.