Every manufacturer is looking to increase its bottom line, but only a few are tapping into the secret of successful new profits: your employees.
Whether you’re a traditional Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) company or you’re outsourcing production to a partner, handing over more responsibilities to employees might sound like a recipe for disaster. However, with the right lean manufacturing approach, employee empowerment is the key to stronger bottom-line growth.
Here are six reasons why employee empowerment isn’t just optional for OEM companies and contract manufacturers – it’s required:
1. Initiate Continuous Improvement
One-time process improvement projects are expensive for your OEM company (or for your contract manufacturer, whose costs are passed on to you). Instead, you need a lean manufacturing mindset that permeates your team’s culture, from top leaders to front-line employees. With a lean culture, you make the shift from single process improvements to continuous improvement – meaning you never have to initiate new improvement projects ever again.
2. Make Fewer Decisions Yourself
From the boardroom to your manufacturing floor, too many decisions become bottlenecked by leaders and managers, slowing down your production capabilities and frustrating delayed employees. An essential part of a lean manufacturing culture is to empower employees by giving them greater decision-making responsibilities for low-level, day-to-day decisions. While supervisors and executives alike still hold critical decision-making authority, employee empowerment means everyday operations aren’t held up by a delayed verdict.
3. Do More With Less
In addition, a lean manufacturing mindset means you’re able to accomplish more for your OEM company with fewer people on staff. That doesn’t mean you should cut your employees though: By standardizing workflows and increasing efficiency, you’re able to reassign employees to other functions, delegate more time for training or ramp up production even further.
4. Garner Company-Wide Involvement
Lean manufacturing isn’t just an initiative for one area or department of your contract manufacturer or OEM company. Rather, it’s a management philosophy that you should use across every part of your business. By implementing a lean approach company-wide, every employee benefits from the camaraderie and solidarity of a team-based mindset.
5. Improve Employee Morale
During the initial stages of a lean manufacturing implementation, employees might be resistant to the changes being made, but once your lean culture begins to take root, employee morale is better than ever. Higher employee engagement and empowerment means happier, more productive team members. In turn, by reducing uncertainty and making employees feel contributive, long-term employee retention increases as well.
6. Build Trust With Management
Transparency at every level of your lean manufacturing organization also translates into more trust between upper-level management and front-line workers. With a shared understanding of why each person is important to the success of your business, employees are less wary of management’s decisions and feel more involved with the direction your OEM company is headed.
Whether or not your business adheres to a lean manufacturing mindset, your bottom line is already in the hands of your employees who complete essential tasks every day to ensure your company’s profitability. By empowering and engaging employees, a lean culture takes that bottom-line growth further than you ever thought possible.
Looking for a reliable contract manufacturer who takes the lean manufacturing mindset seriously? Click below to download a tip sheet from Fusion OEM and discover what questions you should ask a contract manufacturer before you sign the final contract.