10 ways to reduce manufacturing costs

saving money in your manufacturing business
We know rolling out new products and staying competitive isn't cheap, but there are ways to ease your production budget by reducing manufacturing costs.

Focusing on labour, materials, and overhead costs can make these expenses more manageable. Here are ten effective strategies to help you cut costs and streamline your manufacturing operations.

1. Keep only what you need 

Optimise your inventory management

Excess inventory ties up capital and increases storage costs. Consider implementing just-in-time (JIT) inventory management to reduce waste and improve cash flow. Using an ERP system can help you accurately forecast demand and maintain optimal inventory levels.

2. Let tech do the repetitive work 

Automate production processes 

Investing in automation can seem daunting, but the long-term savings are substantial. Automation reduces labour costs, minimises errors, and increases production speed. Start with automating repetitive tasks and gradually expand to more complex processes - the results can be transformative! 

3. Get the most from your suppliers

Streamline your supply chain 

Evaluate your supply chain for inefficiencies. Negotiate better terms with suppliers, consolidate shipments, and use local suppliers where possible to reduce transportation costs. An ERP system can provide visibility into your supply chain, helping you identify and address bottlenecks.

4. Cut the waste

Implement lean manufacturing principles

Lean manufacturing focuses on minimising waste without sacrificing productivity. Techniques such as 5S, Kaizen, and Value Stream Mapping can help you streamline operations, reduce waste, and improve efficiency. Training your team in these simple principles can lead to significant cost savings.

5. Save on utilities

Boost energy efficiency 

Energy costs are a major expense in manufacturing. Conduct an energy audit to identify areas where you can reduce consumption. Simple changes, like switching to LED lighting or upgrading to energy-efficient machinery, can lower your utility bills.

6. Avoid breakdowns

Preventive maintenance 

Regular maintenance of equipment can prevent costly breakdowns and extend the lifespan of your machinery. Implement a preventive maintenance schedule to keep your equipment running smoothly and avoid unexpected repair costs.

7. Invest in your team

Employee training and retention 

Skilled workers are more productive and make fewer errors - especially when equipped with the right tools. Invest in training programs to improve your employees' skills and keep them updated on the latest technologies. Additionally, focusing on employee retention reduces turnover costs and ensures a more experienced workforce.

8. Focus on what you do best

Outsource non-core activities 

Outsourcing tasks that are not central to your business, such as IT services or accounting, can reduce overhead costs and allow you to focus on your core competencies. Evaluate which functions can be outsourced without impacting your product quality.

9. Catch problems early

Improve quality control 

Defective products are costly to remake and can damage your reputation. Implementing a robust quality control system ensures that defects are caught early, reducing waste and saving money in the long run. An ERP system can help track quality metrics and streamline the quality assurance process.

10. Think local

Consider reshoring manufacturing 

While offshoring can offer lower labour costs, reshoring can reduce transportation costs, improve quality control, and shorten lead times. Analyse your total cost of ownership to determine if reshoring could be a more cost-effective option for your business.

Make easy work of handling your manufacturing costs 

Reducing manufacturing costs is crucial for maintaining a competitive edge and ensuring long-term success. Implementing some of these strategies can help you manage expenses without compromising on quality or service.

Looking for a system to help you take control? Get in touch with an expert from Fortee to learn how our ERP system can help you reduce costs, manage overheads, and streamline operations.