In order to cut down wastage in manufacturing and production, it is important to identify the value-creating activities and non-value creating activities.The non-value creating activities need to be eliminated in order to reduce wastage and control costs. Tools like value-chain mapping can be helpful in identifying the non-value creating activities.
The contemporary business scenario is a highly competitive one. By reducing wastage, businesses can save costs. They can then pass on the cost savings to customers in the form of lower prices. The lower pricing can give a competitive advantage to a business over its rivals.Reuse and recycling can help manufacturing companies control wastage and cut down costs. Recycling also helps them in cutting down their carbon footprint and become environmentally more sustainable.
They can then market themselves as environmentally responsible companies. Increasing number of customers are becoming sensitive towards the environment. They want to purchase products of those companies which they perceive are environmentally responsible.When we talk of reuse & recycling of waste generated in manufacturing, we cannot ignore Henry Ford. Ford was the founder of the Ford Motor Company. It was he who first conceived assembly line manufacturing. Ford was almost obsessed with reuse and recycling. For example, the wood that was wasted in the car manufacturing process at Ford Motor Company was distilled by the company to extract chemicals. These chemicals were then sold in the outside market. At one point of time the sale of these chemicals brought more than $10000 a day to the company.
These days many manufacturing companies are breaking new technological grounds for achieving efficiency. For instance one manufacturing company creates very low temperature conditions by using liquid nitrogen. It then gets the metals cut in these conditions because the metal cutting speed of tools is five times faster in these conditions than in normal conditions.Businesses should not hesitate in using state-of-the-art technology for achieving higher efficiency and lower wastage.The investments made in these technologies are more than recovered in the medium and long term because of efficiency and productivity gains.
In a more developed world, the value of every resource will go up. Efficient utilization of resources is therefore very important. This cannot be achieved without a continuous focus on cutting down the wastages in the value chain. Business leaders of today and tomorrow would do well by emulating the likes of Henry Ford.