How Fit is your Factory?

In an ongoing effort to highlight companies that are implementing innovative solutions that increase efficiency, I recently spoke with Dennis Cocco, owner and founder of 10in6, a software company that offers a unique manufacturing solution that will increase a plant’s efficiency by 10% in just six months.

Like the abundance of people who say they want to get in shape, Cocco theorizes that manufacturing plants also want to get in shape, but both parties either don’t know how or don’t want to make the effort. They blame other factors for their lack of productivity and there is little transparency as to what really is at fault. Plant inefficiency is rampant, costing manufacturing companies time, money and affecting their overall ROI.

To increase ROI, businesses either need to increase profits or reduce costs. 10in6 is a software solution that will reduce your plant’s costs, by effectively measuring where your plant is lagging, mainly in terms of labor costs. Cocco says that most manufacturing organizations have established processes and technology to track their revenue, inventory and shipping, but on the shop floor, most are at the mercy of their management team, as there is truly a lack of technology that will track labor inefficiencies. That was until 10in6 came onto the scene.

The manufacturing world in North America is tenuous, with businesses thinking they can cut costs, mainly their labor costs, by going overseas. But with the rising cost of transportation, plus a call to businesses to stay within North America, and raw materials costing the same here as they do elsewhere, more and more businesses are deciding to run their plants here. What they do lack, says Cocco, is the information they need to increase their plant’s efficiency and reduce labor costs.

Many high-profit world-class manufacturing plants in the world can be likened to “gym rats” – those who have the discipline to get in shape, who figure out their weak spots and utilize their time the most efficiently. The ones who run the least efficiently are the ones who sit on the couch, want to get better, but just keep allowing things to run as they are, making excuses and letting it impact their overall health (or ROI).

If there is one factor that gets both unfit people and plants working more efficiently, it is accountability. Just like a personal trainer, the 10in6 software recognizes where your plant is running least resourcefully, so you can make the requisite changes and successfully increase your ROI. Because the software measures everything, you’ll also know where you are improving and why, so you can continue to get better.

In most plants, lines are staffed for either 40 hours or 80 hours. If the work isn’t getting done during those weekly shifts, weekends come into play, which significantly increase labor costs. Not only are you paying for the work to be done during the regular shift, you are paying double for overtime for it to be done on the weekend.

If plants can more effectively use their time during that 40 hours, their ROI will increase substantially. 10in6’s primary driver is to account for lost time. Their software solution will measure the weakest spots on the line and your overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). World-class plants have about an 80% OEE, while many other less-efficient plants are in the 40 – 50% range. With the 10in6 software solution, plants can double their output and go from the bottom of the pack, right to the top, simply by knowing where they need to improve and then doing it.

When Cocco started in the business, every plant had industrial engineers whose job it was to track performance in the plant, but those jobs no longer exist. With electronic auditing software like 10in6, it gives management more transparency and visibility to see what needs to be improved on the line. Ironically, reducing a plant’s manpower could actually make it more efficient. Cocco says that his software “tackles the last unmeasured frontier in the manufacturing world” in terms of measuring accurately what’s happening on the plant floor.

At Executive Outlook, we’re always on the lookout for examples of smarter solutions such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and Big Data that are being leveraged today to create a better world of tomorrow. We hope these stories will inform, enlighten, and maybe even inspire you with ideas that will help your business. If you have a story you would like to share, please message me at rmorris@feedbacksystems.com.

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