How to Make Your Shop Floor Paperless
It is no secret that in the world of manufacturing, operational efficiency is the key to success, especially when you take into consideration the escalating demand to produce products at lower costs faster than ever before.
At the same, the complexity of products continues to increase, only serving to turn up the pressure. Therefore, it’s vital to stay focused on optimizing internal processes with the goal of continuously improving efficiency. Though paper-based environments have prevailed as long as manufacturing has existed, shifting to a paperless shop floor environment is undeniably one of the most effective ways to maximize operational efficiency.
Benefits of a Paperless Shop Floor
In paper-based environments, there are a number of obstacles that limit efficiency, challenging the primary goals of most manufacturing companies. Paper-based workflows are labor and time intensive, not only in the authoring and editing of documents, but in storing them as well. It can be cumbersome to manage revisions and organizing different versions, and tracking audit history has the potential to be quite difficult, as there’s no systematic way to differentiate between new documents and their older counterparts.
The solution to these problems is a paperless approach to business processes. The benefits of a paperless environment are vast and varied, and implementing a paperless shop floor now ensures that your business is ahead of the curve as manufacturing transitions into a purely digital era of communication and documentation.
A paperless shop floor allows for manufacturers to meet the demand of product complexity, shorter turnaround time, and lower production costs, reducing many of the pressures that weigh heavily on the current manufacturing environment. Going paperless means that manufacturers will experience far less downtime due to easier coordination with routing and delivery systems, improved communication as the result of a centralized document management system, and less waste, both in the form of product and paper. Perhaps most importantly, going paperless will dramatically reduce the risk of non-conformance or compliance issues because automatic notifications will be triggered for both engineering and shop-floor workers.
What Steps You Will Need to Take
To create a paperless shop floor, there are several steps you’ll need to take. The most critical item to consider is the software you’ll use, and it’s important to find a product that is best suited to your company. In order to make an educated choice, you’ll want to take some time to assess your business, identifying both top priorities and problems that you currently face.
It’s vital to ensure that your entire team is on board as you transition from a paper-based to a paperless manufacturing environment. Begin by training managers and team leaders, and give them the tools and knowledge necessary to bring the rest of their teams up to speed. Going paperless requires effort from every employee, and ensuring that everyone is on the same page from the start will make the change as seamless as possible.
Assessing Your Current Situation
Before you know what software you need, you’ll want to assess your current situation, pinpointing what’s working and what needs to be improved. There are a few key elements to consider at this stage that may factor heavily into the product you choose and the experience you have throughout your transition from paper-based to paperless.
Types of Documents in Use
Take time to think about the types of documents that are being used, the role that paper is playing in your processes, and what your goals are in going paperless. Approach your business’s needs from both a bird’s eye view and from a detailed perspective to help you determine exactly what it is you need.
Identifying Processes That Can Be Digitized
Next, you’ll want to consider which processes of your manufacturing business can be digitized. While the possibilities are endless, figure out which aspects of your business would benefit most from a paperless workflow and start there.
Investing in the Right Technology
The software and technology you choose play the most critical role in creating a paperless environment that optimizes your workflow for maximum efficiency and minimum risk. Freedom AI is an all-in-one solution that was designed to optimize any type of operation, and for manufacturers of all kinds, Freedom AI has the potential to deliver radical results. Freedom AI is the world’s first operations monitoring software with analytics intelligence, and implementing the powerful software can take businesses from paper-based to paperless, transforming daily operations.
Cloud Storage Solutions
One of the greatest benefits of Freedom AI is that it offers cloud based storage solutions that are centralized, allowing team members to easily share documents, collaborate on projects, and stay up to date on the latest versions and revisions. Cloud-based digital storage not only saves time and energy during your daily workflow, but also on the back end, because it eliminates the need for cumbersome and expensive physical storage solutions.
Automation Software and Tools
Freedom AI provides countless elements of automation, reducing data entry errors and admin work, automatically classifying data, and delivering real-time data to help facilitate decision making. Implementing Freedom AI will yield optimized assets, inventory, production schedules, and outputs, and you’ll always have the ability to take preventative action regarding maintenance issues thanks to the valuable insights it provides.
Evaluating Its Success and Moving Forward
Transforming your shop floor from a paper-based to paperless environment is the key to continued growth and success for manufacturing companies of all types, scopes, and sizes. As the demand for increasingly more complex products continues to rise at the same time that there’s pressure for products to be made more quickly and for a lower cost, creating a paperless environment is a critical element in optimizing efficiency.
Analyzing the Impact of Going Paperless
A robust, powerful software solution like Freedom AI is the all-in-one solution to a paper-based environment, giving manufacturers the tools necessary to facilitate the transformation to a paperless shop floor. By replacing paper documents with cloud-based software and storage, your business can operate more smoothly, and communication and collaboration between employees, teams, and departments will be more seamless than ever before. Your manufacturing business will experience better traceability, improved production scheduling, better data and analytics, and less waste. Most importantly, you’ll experience fewer issues pertaining to non-conformance and compliance, and a significant reduction in human error.
How Freedom AI can Help Your Machine Shop go Paperless
Freedom AI is the key to unlocking a paperless future for your shop floor, optimizing your daily workflow and improving the efficiency of your manufacturing business all around. Our customers report productivity improvements up to 50%, and implementing Freedom AI creates real business value through seamless integration with your business systems and applications.