Cisco Canada Blog

4 Tips: How to meet production deadlines this holiday season

December 15, 2017

The holidays are a busy time for manufacturers. Not only is there an increase in demand for consumer products, but the end of the calendar year signifies the end of many manufacturer’s fiscal year – resulting in a hectic season no matter what you produce.

But there are ways for manufacturers to keep up with demand, no matter the season (or reason). If your factory is struggling to meet production deadlines, read the tips below.

1. Keep your teams on track

Meeting production deadlines is a company-wide responsibility that affects teams from development to distribution. Keeping employees on and off the factory floor in touch through simple, intuitive technologies such as messaging and video can reduce new product introduction (NPI) by 23 per cent while increasing collaboration across teams. Consider how features such as instant messaging, video call, and secure chat spaces could help your teams be more efficient – and help you meet deadlines.

Additional reading: Industrial Collaboration whitepaper


2. Maintain accurate records of supplies and inventory

With the increase in affordable analytics tools, there is no reason for manufacturers to continue to track inventory manually. Even small improvements in warehousing, such as connecting your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to production records, will improve the accuracy of production and ensure you are on pace to meet demand. Another pilot project could include tracking materials using RFID tags to determine the optimal production process. If you are ready for a more advanced technology solution, data can be collected from every machine, material, and piece of equipment across your supply chain and consolidated with ERP and customer data to deliver a real-time, 360-degree view of your product lifecycle.

Additional reading: Improve supply chain visibility whitepaper

3. Make sure your equipment is in good condition

All manufacturers know that work stops when a machine goes down. Unplanned downtime is a serious issue on the factory floor, costing some manufacturers $20,000 per second that production is halted, and unplanned downtime during the holiday season can be catastrophic. Consider introducing an industrial Ethernet network to your factory floor – one that is secured properly and designed to scale as you bring more machines online – so that monitoring the health of your machines can be automated. Downtime can be reduced by as much as 48% when digital technologies are in place, and that can make a huge difference to your bottom line.

Additional reading: Industrial wireless whitepaper

4. Keep your employees happy and healthy

The holidays are a busy time for most people, and that likely includes your employees. Whether they work on the floor or in the office, your employees are trying to balance work and personal commitments right now. It’s enough to stress anyone out. So focus on keeping your employees happy this holiday season – I recently wrote about how a happy worker improves factory efficiency, whether that’s by arming employees with technology that makes their job faster and easier, or by simply providing the options for them to balance work and personal responsibilities.

Additional reading: How do you improve factory efficiency? With a more efficient factory worker.


Do you have tips for manufacturers this holiday season? Leave a comment below.

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