Small Business Tax Center
Small Business Ideas, Grants &
Plans to Start & Run a Business:

Small Business Grants
Network in Cyberschmooz Community Ask Questions Questions and Answers Share Tips Small Business Ideas List Your Business Business Advice from Idea Cafe Experts Coffee Talk with Experts Starting A Business Business Plan Biz Planning | Sample Plans Small Business Ideas Idea Name Your Biz Name Plan Your Biz Plan Financing $ Starting a Business Do It! Running your Business Marketing Tips Promotional Merchandise Marketing Tips Marketing | Sales | Customers Human Resources HR | Employees | Contractors Legal Forms & Tax Information Legal | Biz Forms Managing a Business Managing | Operations
Financing Resources Financing Your Business E Commerce & Webhosting eCommerce Take Out Info Trade Publications FREE Trade Publications Business Books Biz Books Your Own Business Small Business News Small Biz News Gen X Biz Gen X Biz Work at Home Work @ Home Business Information The Fridge - Biz Info on Ice Destress Send Awards Send Awards & Greetings Yoga At Your Desk Yoga @ Your Desk Fun Guide Guide to Find FUN Online About Idea Cafe Press Idea Cafe has received Idea Cafe in the News Idea Cafe's Kudos Kudos for Idea Cafe Advertise on Idea Cafe Advertise on Idea Cafe Privacy Policy Privacy Policy Contact Idea Cafe Contact Idea Cafe Link to Idea Cafe Link to/from Idea Cafe Join Idea Cafe
Search Idea Cafe Site Directory Site Map Online directory to business resources Biz Web Guide

Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

color business bar

7 Ways To Reduce Waste In Your Manufacturing Facility


You complain about your business not returning the sort of profits you expect. Yet, you have a factory floor littered with packaging material waste and machines soaked in oil spills.

That, my friend, is one of the reasons your profit margin is slim. Little as they might seem, wastes have the ability to eat deep into the revenue of an organization.

If you're not losing money from the loss they constitute, then you're losing money from the cost of managing them. In any case, wastes are bad for business.

In this article, we're going to show you ways to reduce wastage in your manufacturing facility.

  1. Monitor and evaluate the nine waste generation points in your factory

First of all, where and what are the wastes?

Every factory has at least nine waste generation points, these are:

  1. Manufacturing
  2. Warehousing and distribution
  3. Offices
  4. Grounds
  5. Construction
  6. Retail
  7. Food services
  8. Housing and hospitality
  9. Vehicle maintenance

To reduce wastage in your facility, you need to first evaluate how much waste each area generates.

You can do that by characterization (segregating by type of waste) and weighing (bin measurement or outright waste measurement). Once you evaluate each section’s waste generation potential, you can then decide whether to “reduce,” “reuse,” “repurpose,” or “recycle.”

  1. Invest in the right types of machinery

It's the habit of most business owners to cut costs. But, sometimes, the consequence of cost-cutting can be far costlier than the amount you’re trying to cut.

Once upon a time, I visited a chemical plant on a field trip. On walking into the factory, I noticed the operators were unloading bags of flour directly into the mixer. Not only did I see the inherent danger in this for the operators, but I also saw how a great amount of the flour was spilled on the floor.

That’s a lot of money wasted!

With a simple equipment investment like a bag dump station, this entire problem could have been avoided. Bag dump stations reduce material waste, eliminate the need to clean the site every now and then, and protect workers.

Your case may not be a bag dump station. It could be something else. You should always invest in the right types of machinery, as that could prevent wastage.

  1. Don’t be reluctant to repair

Got a machine not working properly? Don't use it until you've called in a technician to fix things. Got an engine leaking fuel/oil? Fix before use or get a new one.

Never ever attempt to manage equipment or machines because you want to save cost.

Trust me, failure to put your machines in the right state will only lead to wastage in the long run. And that will ultimately lead to loss of money.

  1. Look for ways to repurpose what you call ‘waste’

Sometimes the reason you have so much waste in your facility is because you're too quick to discard products off as waste. Before you conclude that an item is a waste, look to see whether there is a use for such an item in other factory sections.

Say you’re a manufacturing company with a lot of supposed ‘material waste.’ Look to see whether those materials can be used as fuel to power other machines.

  1. Look for waste exchanges

As they say, one man’s food is another man’s poison. Sometimes, what you consider as waste might be another company’s raw material.

If you would like to reduce your company’s wastes, trading them with another company that might need them can be a good way to prevent the material from ever becoming a waste in the first place.

  1. Manage your inventories efficiently

Many a time, workers bring more materials than is required into the production site. But this often encourages wastage as there will be an excess supply of what's needed to carry out the operations.

Encourage your workers to only order the exact amount of materials they need for a given period of time. And there should be no leftover material left standing in the production site.

  1. Reduce packaging waste

Packaging materials are usually the biggest culprit in the fight against waste generation. If you would like to reduce your company's wastes, reducing the size of your packaging materials can be a good way to go.

Remember, the smaller the size of a packaging material, the smaller the amount of material you’ll need to produce it. And ultimately, the smaller the amount of waste you’ll generate.


Small Business Tax CenterIdea Cafe HomeSign UpBiz Grant CenterCyberSchmoozCoffee Talk with ExpertsPeople in Biz ProfilesStarting Your BizBiz PlanningRunning Your BizFREE Trade PublicationsMarketingFinancing Your BizHuman ResourcesLegal & Biz FormsManaging Your BizeCommerceYou and Your BizGen XWork@HomeThe FridgeDe-StressSend an AwardSend an eGreetingYoga @ Your DeskWeb GuideIdea Cafe in the NewsAbout Idea CafeAdvertise on Idea CafeContact UsPrivacy PolicySite MapSmall Biz News

Copyright 1995-2024, Idea Cafe Inc. Downloads are for personal use only, not for resale to others, and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from Idea Cafe Inc.

DISCLAIMER: We hope whatever you find on this site is helpful, but be cautioned that it may not apply to your own situation, or be totally current at any given time. Idea Cafe Inc. and all of its current and past experts, sponsors, advertisers, agents, contractors and advisors disclaim all warranties with regard to anything found anywhere on this family of websites, quoted from, or sent from Idea Cafe. and its related sites, publications and companies. We also take no responsibility for comments published by others on these pages.

TRADEMARKS: The following are Registered Trademarks or Servicemarks of DevStart, Inc.: Idea Cafe®, Online Coffee Break®, The Small Business Gathering Place®, Take out Info®, Biz Bar & Grill®, Complaint-O-Meter®, A Fun Approach to Serious Business™, CyberSchmooz™, and BizCafe™.