Cost Reduction in Manufacturing Industry

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In this age of aggressive competition, it is imperative for manufacturing companies to achieve cost reduction, in order to stay competitive. Read Actionable Steps to achieve Cost Reduction in your company. Lower your Costs and Increase Profits. Gain a Competitive Edge. https://www.forceintellect.com/2019/11/19/cost-reduction-manufacturing-industry/

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Cost Reduction in Manufacturing Industry Cost Reduction in Manufacturing Industry "Costs do not exist to be calculated. Costs exist to be reduced" - Taiichi Ohno In this age of aggressive competition manufacturing companies are struggling to improve their bottom lines. Hence it is imperative to achieve cost reduction in key business processes such as production procurement inventory and so on to ensure and improve profitability. What is Cost Reduction Cost Reduction is the process to identify and remove unnecessary expenses from a business to increase profits without impacting the product quality. I recently had an opportunity to discuss with a Cost Reduction Consultant Mr. Ninan Chandy from DeltaEta Cost Reduction Consultants Pvt Ltd who is an ardent follower and practitioner of the above mentioned principle. He has turned around loss making manufacturing units into highly profitable organizations by implementing successful Cost Reduction strategies and processes. Here is an interesting example he shared that shows how companies incur additional costs unknowingly which ultimately impacts product sales price and profitability. A Transmission line tower manufacturing company was regularly losing orders and facing stiff competition in spite of quoting with the lowest possible margins. Upon careful study they

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found that the raw material they required to manufacture a tower was more than their competitors . On further investigation it was found that every layer in designing and marketing process was adding an extra margin of safety. e.g. designers were adding 5 to 10 design approver another 5 manager another 5. As a result they were consuming beyond the required level. The problem was in design which when rectified resulted in making the company a leading manufacturer in the region . So effective cost reduction efforts should start from Design and run all the way to dispatch. Let me share with you the key learning from my discussion with Mr. Ninan Chandy to achieve Cost Reduction in Manufacturing. 1. Procurement Policy Implement a companywide procurement policy to reap the benefits of aggregate demands. Concentrate on following procurement activities to achieve optimum procurement costs. • Aggregate demand indents from functions locations and departments. • Place bulk orders with staggered delivery to get competitive prices from suppliers • Increase your supplier base find local suppliers who can provide quality materials • Plan logistics well in advance in order to ensure timely deliveries and save costs • Before buying double check whether any material is available in stock which can be used without or without modification. With this companies will be able to negotiate with suppliers procure goods at optimal costs and lead time leading to lower costs and inventory. All these will result in significant cost reduction. You can also leverage eProcurement software to digitize automate and make Procurement process transparent fair. This will also speed up Procurement process and achieve above mentioned objectives. 2. Focus on the Important Key Performance Indicators Always focus on important KPIs of your business processes which are direct pointers and raise a flag for increasing costs and timelines. Keep a track of the trends to get valuable feedback and identify areas of cost reduction. You can thus take quick and informed decisions for remedial measures to reduce costs. Focus on the following KPIs to achieve cost reduction in manufacturing. • Inventory turns • Break even values • Delivery delays due to material shortage • Cost of holding stock • Supplier performance and more

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For E.g. If the value of your STR is continuously increasing it is a clear indicator of a flaw in the inventory control procurement process or a fall in sales and an alert to fix it immediately. 3. Need Audit Companies need to ask tough questions such as: Do we really need this material for our operation at various levels such as Design Procurement planning Inventory control etc. For e.g. Many a times companies over design products or over consume materials to provide extra margin of safety. This practice does not improve value of end product. However a chain of such actions in operation increases costs by large margin. Hence always be watchful on key materials consumption. Also you should always be on the lookout for identifying alternate and economic materials which can be used without affecting product quality. 4. Waste Reduction Some amount of waste is a given in any manufacturing process. Wastage may be in area of material man power energy time or anywhere else. Manufacturing waste occurs during production because of defects in case of excess inventory while transportation and so on. Companies should always look for opportunities to eliminate waste. E.g. Reduction in scrap generation during fabrication process will improve profitability significantly. 5. Develop a culture of Cost Reduction If we have to define Cost Reduction mathematically it is sum total of all the tiny efforts taken consistently over a period of time. Therefore cost saving of amount X X1 + X2 + X3 + X4 + .......... + Xn. Hence Cost reduction is not just about a strategy process or technique. It is a culture which needs to be developed across the company. Each and every employee of the organization must understand that "Money Saved is Money Earned". Guide motivate and coach teams to build a long term culture of cost reduction. Educating your employees how even a tiny cost reduction can contribute to improve the profit margin of the company will ensure that employees appreciate the importance of cost reduction. Rewards Recognition of employees who follow processes and identify areas of improvement can also motivate others to follow suit. 6. Leverage Technology to achieve Cost Reduction Companies should leverage ERP software to digitize automate and speed up business processes increase productivity efficiency. Centralized information management improves visibility information sharing you achieve better coordination among functions and departments. Specific KPI based reports insights into business trends helps make timely data-backed and informed decisions. All these result in reduction in manufacturing administrative operational costs across the organization.

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7. Focus on Saving of Unit Cost and Not expenses The ultimate objective is to focus on Savings of Unit cost. If you are able to lower the manufacturing cost of a critical item from Rs. 10 per unit to Rs. 9 per unit. The Re 1 saved per unit can be seen as net profit boosting your bottom line dramatically Thus you will be able to see a significant increase in your profit margins. 8. Implement Cost reduction and Not Cost Cutting . The difference can be explained vide an example . To reduce air pressure in an overinflated tyre we reduce the air inside and not cut the tyre Cost Cutting is a temporary measure to reduce costs while cost reduction is a permanent result. Cost Cutting is a reaction to decreasing profits while cost reduction is a proactive approach to improve competitiveness . Actionable Steps to achieve Cost Reduction in Manufacturing In order to ensure successful cost reduction in manufacturing companies should: • Identify the biggest costs mark cost reduction areas for continuous improvement • Start reducing costs slowly without affecting the quality efficiency • Eliminate redundant activities/purchases that incur significant costs Summary The most important benefit of cost reduction in manufacturing is that you can lower your product costs and boost your profits. You can set competitive prices of products gain edge over competitors. So look all around you to reduce every little bit from your costs. Remember cost reduction is not achieved in a single day or by doing a single activity. It is sum total of all the tiny efforts taken consistently over a period of time.

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