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4 Ways to Reduce Waste Throughout Your Manufacturing Process

Plastic Waste In Factory
Is your manufacturing process drowning in waste, unwanted parts, or idle inventory? All of these represent part of your investment that wasn't fully utilized - or wasn't utilized at all. You can boost your bottom line by reducing this waste, even in small ways.
Here are four ways your company can start making the manufacturing process more efficient and less costly.
1. Recycle More
Some waste is always a part of any manufacturing process. But what you choose to do with necessary waste either contributes to profit or takes away from it. Paying to dump scrap costs money - and dumping certain types of sensitive waste costs even more.
Instead of dumping your scraps, look for ways to recycle more of your waste materials. You may need to set up a service with a separated recycling center within your plant's grounds or even develop an internal recycling program completely. Try creating a recycling committee of employees to examine the possibilities of recycling more obscure materials. The effort put in helps recoup your parts costs.
Many businesses throw away many materials that could be easily recycled, including various types of copper or brass, wiring, alloys, plastics, paper, and aluminum. Assess what your manufacturing produces and focus on ways to recycle those specific metals, parts, or containers.
2. Reuse More
Before recycling items, use them as much as possible. Consider ways you can reuse different waste products.
Could paper or plastic waste be reused as padding for your shipping department? Can some by-products be used to make an unrelated product? Is uncontaminated waste water going down the drain when it could water the company's lawn or be recycled back into the manufacturing process? Can certain chemicals be resold to industries who use them? Can you purchase used goods from other businesses for a part of your own process?
Reusing materials takes some creativity and thinking outside the box. But if you can use by-products or waste for something that your business would normally purchase, you can save money without sacrificing anything.
3. Reduce Inventory
Idle inventory takes up space, and it means money lost as parts and goods stay on the shelf. Reducing inventory, though, takes time and careful record-keeping. First, implement an accurate inventory tracking system. This is key, and it may take some time. Your system should automate the comings and goings of inventory as much as possible (such as through RFID), and it needs to be updated as often as possible. Realtime inventory assessment helps you know what's selling and when.
Make suppliers your partners in inventory reduction. Can a local supplier be more responsive than a national one, providing you with timely and convenient inventory resupply? Can they basically hold more of your parts in their warehouses to be bought as needed rather than you holding it in yours after purchase?
4. Rethink Packaging
The packing and shipping process often results in tremendous amounts of unused materials, leftover pieces, and one-time-use disposables. These all weigh on your profit margin. Redesigning packaging is a simple way to make a big difference.
If you produce and ship many of the same items, it's time to look into a custom-designed shipping package. A box scaled exactly to the product with padding already prepared means less time packaging, less damage in transit, and less leftover waste. It also reduces the need for additional protective plastics or outside boxes.
No matter what part of your process creates unnecessary waste, there are ways to improve it. And any effort can help boost your profits. Start with a visit to our reuse and recycling experts at Bruce Metal & Salvage today. We can help your company design a recycle program that fits your needs and saves money.