7 Smart Solutions For Improving Manufacturing Efficiency

Manufacturing efficiency generally refers to the ability of a manufacturer to produce goods at the lowest possible cost and meet the demands of the market within a certain time frame. Of course, as you can imagine, one’s production is only as effective as other aspects of the business such as distribution, organization, and storage efficiency. So, it’s not just about making goods, it’s also about how you label them, store them, and organize your workforce to do the work with better results. In today’s highly competitive market, mastering these skills can be the difference between staying afloat or becoming truly successful.

That’s why we sorted out a few useful tips and smart solutions on how to improve your manufacturing efficiency and beat the competition. Read on!

The Japanese secret to success

In the 1950s, the giant manufacturer Toyota came up with an interesting solution on how to manage waste and make the whole production process much more efficient. By eliminating waste in all its forms, including overproduction, reducing the waiting time, eliminating defects and over-processing, excess inventory, and transportation, lean manufacturing was born. In short, lean manufacturing is all about delivering high-quality products to customers as quickly and efficiently as possible with the end goal being: to stick to the sacred rules of lean manufacturing for better results. These included:

  • The visual presentation of the whole process, from raw material to the finished product. This way the manufacturer will have a better idea of what goes into the making of the product and how much time and effort it will take. It also gives a unique chance to look at the possible chances and cuts you can make and help you identify and eliminate non-value-adding activities which are just taking up resources unnecessarily.
  • “ Continuous improvement”, known as Kaizen in Japanese terms, is a key component of the whole lean manufacturing concept involving all the employees and their suggestions on how to improve the process.
  • And, last but not least, the 5S of lean manufacturing: Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain.

The concept has proven a real success and more and more manufacturers are taking up the ideas to improve their production costs and efficiency.

Labeling and sorting

As we explained in the introduction, there is more to the manufacturing process than delivering the goods at the lowest possible cost. The efficiency highly depends on how effectively you can manage your labeling and sorting issues in the storage. Why? Well, sorting out the labeling issue of pallets can save you time and your workers a lot of effort. Also, the better the labeling, the more efficient the transport of goods and their sorting. Simply speaking, with the labeling placed on pallets, you can finally eliminate possible defects and human errors and save a lot of time you would otherwise spend on such technicalities. You’ll have quick access to the items when needed, you’ll have a better track of all your inventory and what is missing, and you’ll prevent hazards from happening as effective labeling can also be a security concern in industries operating with chemicals and flammable items. You’ll also promote a sense of responsibility to your workers who’ll take better care of the storage of items and their sorting.

Real-time data collection

The use of real-time data collection and analysis can help you finally make more informed decisions when it comes to the whole production process. By effectively collecting data regarding the production time, the machine utilization, and how much energy is being used, you can identify possible defects and errors and work on their prevention. This way, you can finally make sure your process is not being interfered with by simple yet real issues which often cost you money and slow down the whole production line. There is numerous software you can use to help you with this issue and resolve your problems with ease. And the cost of subscription and use is surpassed by how much money you’ll save once you make informed-base decisions to improve your whole operation.

Planned maintenance

This is something every responsible manufacturer manager should have in mind at all times. You’re only as efficient and effective in keeping up the production line going as your machines allow you to be. Let’s face it, the whole process depends on robotic help and automation. This also means that once the machines stop working, so does the whole production. This happens more than often as malfunctions are a part of every well-oiled machine, and the only way to prevent this is by predictive maintenance. In short, it allows manufacturers to plan for maintenance and repairs in advance, reducing downtime and increasing production efficiency. Don’t let one loose screw mess up the whole operation. Stick to predictive maintenance.

Simply and demand

Your supply chain is the backbone of the whole production operation and allows for the process to actually meet demands and deadlines. One small error in the supply chain and you can put the whole operation on hold until things start to roll again. Therefore, we strongly advise you to optimize your supply chain, improving the flow of goods and materials from suppliers. This can include reducing lead times, improving inventory management, and streamlining the transportation of goods. Make a deal with several suppliers and never put all your eggs in one basket. This way, if one of the suppliers cannot deliver, you’ll have a backup plan allowing you to keep things going.

Employee training and development

Sometimes manufacturers overlook the fact that their operation is as effective as the workforce behind it. Many companies are paying for training lessons and seminars, classes, and additional opportunities for the employees to rise and become extremely good at what they do. It not only keeps your workforce happy and motivated, but it also allows you to be more effective and deliver better end results regarding the production of goods. A happy workforce is one eager to learn, improve, and do their best.

Communication is the key

Effective collaboration and communication between all parties involved in the manufacturing process is something you’ve heard about but never much thought about. Rest assured, improving the communication channels reduces the risk of miscommunication and ensures that everyone is working towards the same goals. This can include collaboration between suppliers, manufacturers, and customers, as well as communication within the manufacturing plant between departments and teams. The latter can be easily arranged, and all you have to do is hold regular meetings before each workday to deliver assignments and tasks, work on what everyone should do and pay attention to, and make an effort to deliver a clear and concise message. Your HR team can take over the task and even work on new methods to improve the existing channels of communication between the manufacturing district and employees.

We hope you’ll find these humble suggestions more than helpful. If you implement them, there is a good chance you’ll see results within the first three months and effectively lower the costs of production and reduce stress-inducing factors.

Business Management: Using Modern Tech Solutions to Outpace Competitors

As a startup owner, it can sometimes feel impossible to get the attention of your target audience, especially in a competitive industry. When most people already have companies they trust, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to get them to notice a new company. Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions that can help your business make the most out of every opportunity.

You can utilise modern tech solutions to outpace the competitors, as success in the industry is all about working smarter. While a great work ethic can help, industry insight is often the key to success. Here are a few ways you can use modern tech solutions to outpace the competition.


1. Understanding which types of business software works best for your company

It’s one thing to know that you need business software to achieve success; it’s another story entirely to be aware of the tech solutions that suit your company the best. Depending on the industry, there will be some tech solutions unique to your business, but for the most part, it’s easy enough to look for top-tier solutions.

For example, just about every business needs the help of a data management platform, especially in a world where digital businesses are quickly outstripping their more traditional competitors. You’ll need to use modern tech solutions such as news API, which crawls the web for information from millions of sites that can be integrated into your company’s applications. There is limitless potential when it comes to software, and it’s up to you to figure out how it can fit your company based on its needs.


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2.Taking advantage of remote onboarding

The onboarding process involves the hiring and training of employees, and remote onboarding allows such a process to occur for workers that don’t need to go to the office. In fact, with the help of cloud computing software, even company owners can run their businesses from the comfort of their homes. Remote onboarding is crucial, especially for new companies, as it allows you to run business processes without having to pay for an office space.

With remote onboarding and team management, your business could potentially flourish without your employees having to head to an office to get the job done. That said, the onboarding process can be delicate, so it’s a good idea to take your time and find the business software that works best for your company.


3.Pushing for automation

With business software solutions and remote onboarding, your company is well on its way to effective automation and optimisation. Automation is a relatively popular buzzword in the business sector, as it can help small businesses grow into an enterprise. The more you focus on automation, the easier it gets to optimise company processes. Examples of automation for small businesses include pricing automation and various types of inventory management services.

While small businesses might have a more challenging time experiencing success in a competitive environment, the above tips will help you develop a solid foundation and an effective roadmap for success. The good news about running a small business is you have many opportunities to outpace the competition.

The post Business Management: Using Modern Tech Solutions to Outpace Competitors appeared first on IT Security Guru.

#MIWIC2022: Paula Page, CCL Solutions Group

Organised by Eskenzi PR in media partnership with the IT Security Guru, the Most Inspiring Women in Cyber Awards aim to shed light on the remarkable women in our industry. The following is a feature on one of 2022’s Top 20 women selected by an esteemed panel of judges. Presented in a Q&A format, the nominee’s answers are written in their own words with minor edits made by the editor for readability and where relevant, supplemented with additional commentary by their nominator.

This year, the awards are sponsored by Beazley, BT, KPMG and KnowBe4.

Paula Page, Director of Cyber, CCL Solutions Group Ltd

What does your job role entail?

All sorts! As my role started effectively within a start up, albeit within an already established business, I wore many hats every day, especially within the first few years but still often do as it’s very much a team effort.

Mostly though, my role in the Exec team and as Director of Cyber is mainly focused around the strategic piece, growth and relationship wise, client engagement and relationship building and then this is mirrored within my direct team as relationships are at the heart of everything we do.  

I work with my team to develop new service lines, I am responsible for recruitment, I get involved with scheduling still if needed (which is actually one of my favourite things, I love seeing a diary that has no space and working to make it happen, it’s a bit like Tetris for projects!) I am involved in supporting the billing process, I deal with any issues on projects or within the team that need to be escalated and genuinely get involved in anything and everything that pops its head up. I think that’s one of the things that led to me loving the work and industry so much, no two days are ever exactly the same and I love to be busy, fix problems and see progress. 

Many people in my role in other companies are technical but my background is very firmly rooted in the soft skills and relationship space, along with the commerciality. I have built an exceptionally strong technical team and together, we are able to ensure our clients and partners are provided with the best service made up of a team who are all experts in their field. 

How did you get into the cybersecurity industry?

Having always wanted to be a teacher, I decided on the day of sending my applications off that I really wasn’t sure anymore. I called my parents to tell them as I stood at the post box holding the envelope and they were really supportive, telling me to take my time and see what happened. 

Having no idea what was next, I worked a few admin roles as a temp and then saw a permanent role advertised in what turned out to be a Cyber Security company. It was never something I’d considered and absolutely didn’t think I’d end up making a career in the industry. 

I was offered the job as admin and the MD, Ian Glover, was really supporting and helped carve a role for me to support the Consultants. From there, another role developed and before long I was fully involved in the tender processes, scheduling work, carrying out QAs of proposals etc. I quickly realised I absolutely loved the work and the industry and the rest, as they say, is history!

What is one of the biggest challenges you have faced as a woman in the tech/cyber industry and how did you overcome it?

It won’t only be me who has often been the only woman in the room on many occasions over the years and this in itself can be a challenge, especially when you are in the early part of your career. It can be intimidating and I’m sure lots of women have found themselves in positions where the behaviour of others have made them want to give up. I was even told it wasn’t the industry for a woman and that I’d never ‘make’ it. 

My standout moment was at InfoSec a number of years back where someone felt it appropriate to proposition and touch me whilst on the stand for the company I worked for at the time with absolute confidence that he was doing nothing wrong. 

You can feel like no one has even seen you or that everyone’s eyes are on you but for totally the wrong reason, neither of which are pleasant. It’s also frustrating when the only topics you are invited to speak about are diversity, usually the done-to-death ‘woman in cyber’ angle. No one ever asks me to speak about being in an exec position, building a business or the soft skills which are so important in this industry and which are key to successful relationships. 

It can often be a struggle to have your voice or ideas heard but with persistence, and a huge dose of stubbornness, I started to feel that the people in the room were listening, and I was being asked for my ideas. It didn’t happen quickly, or easily, and I’d be lying if I said that the feeling of being seen as the token female doesn’t still hit sometimes. Imposter syndrome is also very real but again, gaining more confidence in my own ability and knowing that I am good at what I do, it happens less now than it used to.

I also feel that I have had to work far harder than any of my male colleagues to get into the position I am in now. 

What are your top three greatest accomplishments you have achieved during your career so far?

  • Building a business where people are the focus, both from a team and client perspective. I’ve worked with and for some great people through my career, but I have also worked for some whose behaviours were less than supportive and helped me be absolutely clear about the sort of leader I wanted to be should I ever get to that position. For me, the most important thing will always be the happiness of my team and clients and that has been the basis for everything I have done since I moved into my current role as Director of Cyber. 
  • Staying true to me, my ideas and my vision for the business that I wanted to build. I needed it to be something I was proud of, something that provided value and where clients wanted to return time after time. Being able to do this successfully whilst also raising a young family and ensuring I didn’t lose my time with them is something that took a lot of thought, planning and support from my husband but that I feel really proud that I’ve been able to do.
  • Working with and supporting young people through various competitions such as the NCSC Cyber First Girls Competition and Cyber Centurion. I also spend time with local schools, running Cyber Spotlight workshop days to highlight all the amazing opportunities within our industry in the hope of inspiring them to consider a cyber career in the future. I also support a charity that works to divert people who have been identified as being at risk of becoming involved in the criminal side of Cyber, and introduce them to the routes via various pathways into the ethical side of hacking. 

What are you doing to support other women, and/or to increase diversity, in the tech/cyber industry?

Supporting a team of girls in the NSCS Cyber First girls competition was a great experience last year. Talking to them about cyber as an industry and the various opportunities available to them, and seeing how interested they were, gave me so much hope for the future and I look forward to working with another team this year.

I am responsible for recruitment, so I constantly look to hire people from all backgrounds and experience levels. Having not gone to university myself, and having grown up on a council estate in Glasgow, I am all too aware of the barriers to industry that exist for working class people. I am very aware that I have my first MD to thank for opening so many doors for me and I will always want to pay that forward. 

Also, building a flexible and supportive team where people are able to drop children at school and pick them up, take family members to appointments or take time to care for them means that groups of people, often mothers, are able to work in roles that they otherwise lose out on due to these important commitments. The industry loses out on so much talent through lack of flexibility and in turn, sidelining mothers and parents. I firmly believe that flexible working is at the heart of a successful business as it opens the door to some incredible talent and if we’re not making it easy for parents and carers to come into or stay in our industry, we’re doing them, and it, a huge disservice. 

What is one piece of advice you would give to girls/women looking to enter the cybersecurity industry?

Do it! I feel genuinely lucky to have stumbled into a role that led me to a full career in a space that I’d never considered but that I absolutely love. If you’re considering a career in the industry, you already know about it which is a step further along than I was.

Remember all roles in the industry aren’t technical and in fact, the soft skills needed to succeed are just as important and lead you to many different options. I am not a technical resource, but I have built a successful business filled with amazing people where clients feel valued and cared for. 

Mostly, be prepared to work hard, question things when you think they need to be, go with your gut and be unapologetically yourself.

The post #MIWIC2022: Paula Page, CCL Solutions Group appeared first on IT Security Guru.

Comparing Different Business Software Solutions: How to Make the Right Choice

Making the decision to invest in business software can be a difficult one. With so many different options on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for your company. In this article, we will compare some of the most popular software solutions and help you decide which one is best for you. We’ll discuss the benefits of each option and help you figure out which one is right for your needs. So, whether you’re looking for accounting software, CRM software, or something else entirely, read on to find out more!

ERP Software

ERP software is a type of business software that helps organizations manage their business processes. It includes modules for accounting, CRM, inventory management, and more. ERP software is often used by large businesses because it can be customized to fit the specific needs of the organization. However, this customization can also be one of the drawbacks of ERP software, as it can be expensive to implement and maintain. If you look at this full comparison report from TEC, you’ll notice that there are several features you need to look for in ERP software. This includes things like ease of use, flexibility, and scalability. You’ll also want to make sure that the software you choose integrates well with your existing systems.

CRM Software

CRM software is used to manage customer relationships. It helps businesses keep track of customer contact information, communication history, and sales data. CRM software can be used to automate marketing and sales tasks, including email marketing, lead generation, and follow-up activities. Picking the right CRM software for your business can be a daunting task. There are a lot of different options on the market, and it can be hard to know which one is right for you. First, you need to decide what features are most important to your business. Then, you can start narrowing down your options by comparing different software solutions.

Accounting Software

Accounting software is a vital tool for businesses of all sizes. It helps businesses keep track of their finances, make tax payments, and more. When choosing accounting software, there are a few things to consider. First, decide what features you need. Accounting software can do everything from tracking income and expenses to creating invoices and paying bills. Make sure the software you choose has the features you need to manage your finances effectively. Second, consider your budget. Accounting software can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Choose the software that fits your budget without compromising on features. Finally, make sure the software is compatible with your devices. Many accounting programs are available as desktop applications or online applications. Make sure the program you choose will work with the devices you have available.

Database Software

Database software is used to store, organize, and retrieve data. When choosing a database software solution for your business, it is important to consider the features that are important to you and your business needs. Some features to consider include the type of data you will be storing (e.g., financial data, customer data), the size of your database (i.e., how much data you need to store), and whether you need a relational or non-relational database. It is also important to consider the scalability of the solution and whether it can grow with your business. Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a database software solution is the level of support you need. Some solutions offer 24/ Seven support, while others only offer support during business hours. There are also some solutions that offer community-based support, which can be helpful if you are comfortable getting help from other users.

How To Choose The Right Business Software Solution

When it comes to choosing the right business software solution, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, decide what features are most important to your business. Make a list of the must-have features and the nice-to-have features. Then, start looking at different software solutions and compare them side-by-side. Pay attention to things like price, ease of use, and compatibility with your existing systems. Once you’ve found a few software solutions that meet your needs, take some time to try them out. Many software companies offer free trials of their products. This is a great way to test out the features and see how the software works before you commit to buying it. When you’re ready to make a purchase, be sure to read the reviews. Look for reviews from other businesses that are similar to yours. This will give you a good idea of how the software will work for you and whether it’s worth the price.

When it comes to choosing the right business software solution, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. By taking the time to consider your needs and compare different solutions, you can find the software that’s right for you. With the right software in place, you can streamline your business operations and improve your bottom line.

Geek Guide: Purpose-Built Linux for Embedded Solutions

Geek Guide: Purpose-Built Linux for Embedded Solutions

The explosive growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) is just one of several trends that is fueling the demand for intelligent devices at the edge. Increasingly, embedded devices use Linux to leverage libraries and code as well as Linux OS expertise to deliver functionality faster, simplify ongoing maintenance, and provide the most flexibility and performance for embedded device developers.

This e-book looks at the various approaches to providing both Linux and a build environment for embedded devices and offers best practices on how organizations can accelerate development while reducing overall project cost throughout the entire device lifecycle.

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