For manufacturers, there are many variables that can chip away at the company’s bottom line. To maintain the proper profit margins, it is vital to maximize production while minimizing waste and defects. Key metrics can keep you informed about the overall success of your operations. Keep reading to find out about some of these crucial indicators.

Christian Coulson

Christian Coulson

Christian Coulson, Founder of Blogstalgia. He is also an industrial engineer and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt turn entrepreneur.

Four Key Metrics to Measure Manufacturing Objectives

Some key metrics you can use to measure manufacturing success are inventory turns per year, product defects per unit shipped/processed, lines downtime, and rework hours. These standards provide benchmarks for measuring success based on two objectives—preventing defects and increasing bottom-line profits.

Maintenance Repair and Operations

MRO setup is one of the major metrics to be taken under consideration [in determining] the success of the manufacturing process.

Standing for Maintenance Repair and Operations, MRO is the digitalization of any factory, or you can say turning your factory into a smart factory.

If you are up moving head-to-head with the latest and upcoming technology, you are surely heading towards success in the future.

Sarthak Kandpal

Sarthak Kandpal

Sarthak Kandpal, Senior Analyst at Coppermobile Inc.

Tony Vangelburg

Tony Vangelburg

Tony Vangelburg, Production manager at Rayming PCB.

Production Volume

Production volume is one of the most important metrics when it comes to measuring success in the manufacturing process. A good production volume indicates that the manufacturing process is running smoothly and effectively.

Key Metrics for Apparel Manufacturing

1. Wastage
When making apparel, it is incredibly important to take fabric wastage into account, as it affects your bottom line. Depending on how the fabric is cut and how the pattern repeats so that it aligns properly in the finished garment are all aspects in determining the wastage of fabric. Wastage is a part of the process and cannot be 100% avoided, but the success of manufacturing and maintaining the projected manufacturing cost depends on accurately accounting for wastage.

2. Fabric Utilization
Similar to wastage, fabric utilization measures the actual use of the fabric purchased to complete the production order. It is measured by the fabric used in garments/total fabric available (i.e., purchased for the specific order). Fabric makes up between 60 to 70% of the total cost to produce a garment, so it is a major factor in determining what the finished garment will be wholesale for. Therefore, it is incredibly important to pay close attention to the usage of the fabric so that every bit of fabric is planned for and accounted for.

3. Timeline
Success in the apparel industry is extraordinarily based upon seasons. Fall/Winter lines break in February, and Spring/Summer lines break in August. To be ready for those trade shows, apparel companies must ensure that they are following their production and design schedules extremely closely.

This includes:

  • material sourcing and ordering
  • planning for transit times to get raw materials to the factories
  • planning for proto sampling/salesmen sampling
  • planning the sales timeline (i.e., order date)

[Plan enough time to ensure the procurement of the raw materials and production timeline. The success of this timeline metric can be measured against hard dates when things must be completed by and delivered.

4. Perfect Order Fulfilment
In general terms, perfect order fulfillment is a ratio based upon the perfect goods/ordered goods. It is a great metric to measure accuracy and on-time delivery. It needs to take into account time orders, complete orders, orders that don’t have damage, and orders with correct documentation.

Jeff Zuckerman

Jeff Zuckerman

Jeff Zuckerman, CEO of Main Street Events.

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