Although food manufacturing was counted among the essential industries at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, it wasn’t exempt from any challenges. They had to adapt more quickly to ensure that supply never runs out, but at the same time, it only took one infected person to shut down an entire factory. After all, any contaminated product can worsen the contagion. Even months into the pandemic, the world’s evolving situation continues to pose new problems for them. If food manufacturing is to survive, however, adapting won’t be enough. They’ll have to find ways to increase their productivity to bounce back and make up for losses.
There are four specific ways to do that during the pandemic.
Establish Long-Term Protocols
Thinking long-term will save manufacturers from a lot of headaches. While scientists are optimistic about coming up with a vaccine, there’s no telling how far into the future that could be. It’s best to expect that the next five years will still be riddled with health protocols and restrictions you’ll have to comply with. This will enable your entire leadership team to develop sustainable methods for sanitation and protocols when it comes to handling equipment and interacting with others.
Work post-pandemic will still see a huge change in people’s behavior towards hygiene. Anticipate that many businesses and clients will uphold the same sanitation standard to prevent outbreaks in the future. Cultivating this attitude towards your new work protocols will save you time, money, and effort and give you an advantage over your competitors.
Outsource with Care
Now is the time to be more meticulous about the services you outsource. Some of your considerations should include the health and sanitation protocols they follow. Anything less efficient than yours can compromise the quality of your products and services. This is particularly true when it comes to delivering your goods.
Does your contractor equip the drivers with masks, face shields, and sanitation equipment? Do they monitor them diligently using a fleet management system? Coordinate with your contractors and have them guarantee the quality of their services. Your safety and productivity rely heavily on the people you choose to work with.
Re-train and Re-equip
Human error is common, especially when new protocols are in place on the manufacturing floor. Don’t expect that one meeting will suffice to change how everybody works. Re-train them if you have to and supervise them well. The more hands-on the leadership team is during the implementation of your new protocols, the easier it will be for everybody to adapt. There’s nothing like human error to slow down your operations, so closing that margin through good leadership will result in a boost in your productivity.
Commit to Preventive Maintenance
Now more than ever, it’s essential to take care of your equipment. Purchasing and shipping new machinery might take longer than usual during a pandemic, and even a half-day of rest can cause major losses.
Coordinate with your engineers and other specialists on how to improve your preventive maintenance. Do you need to schedule more frequent inspections? Do you need more people probing at your equipment? This might cost you, but not as much as a halted operation will.
Productivity Means Everything
It’s not impossible to create improvements even with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Work life might never be the same again, but with increased productivity, you might still find an increased demand for your goods.