The process of planning out a factory in which your company can efficiently produce a product is challenging but ultimately hugely rewarding.
If you are currently at the planning stage then the ten points below should give you some food for thought:
1. Operation – Your factory is first and foremost a place where your product is made, so make sure that it is perfectly suited to the job in hand. This may sound self-evident, but it is easy to switch your attention to other factors and forget about this.
2. Distance – Following on from the previous point, it is important to always think about distance when planning your factory layout – you want your product to have to travel the minimum distance possible from starting out as raw materials to when it emerges as a finished product.
3. Green – Environmental issues are becoming increasingly important in this day and age, so think about how you can save energy and perhaps incorporate recycled materials or sustainable power generators into the overall design. It is something you can shout about once your business is up and running.
4. Safety – The last thing you want is for someone to be injured – or worse – while on-site, so speak to as many experts as you need to in order to identify any possible safety issues and eliminate them. Chances are you will need to think about products such as electrically insulated matting, warning signage and anti-slip flooring.
5. Parking – Whether it is for employees, visitors, delivery trucks or yourself, parking needs to be well thought out. It is unlikely that you will base your factory in the middle of a town or city in which space comes at a premium, so make sure you allow plenty of room for people to come and go.
6. Meeting – While your factory is primarily about making a product, there is also a need for somewhere to carry out business conversations, both internally and with potential buyers. As a result, be sure to include a formal meeting space somewhere in the facility.
7. Rest – It is not only business conversations that take place at work, you also need to some areas for your employees to relax. Try to give them at least a small kitchen area with somewhere to sit, while an outdoor seating area with some greenery can make a real difference too.
8. Maintenance – One thing that needs to be considered during the planning stage is that anything you build/create needs to be maintained, so while a gorgeous courtyard with a landscaped garden may look wonderful at first, it will need a gardener to maintain it otherwise it will deteriorate.
9. Aesthetics – Some people will argue that aesthetics are the last thing you should think about when designing a factory – and they have a point – but you should aim for your building to be at least slightly impressive to the observer, even if it is not the manufacturing equivalent of the Guggenheim Museum.
10. Versatility – One of the trickiest aspects of designing a factory is predicting how your business needs may change in the future. To do your best it is advisable to give yourself plenty of space and the ability to alter the building without too much regulatory fuss are certainly useful.
About the author:
About the Author | Stuart writes about safety in the workplace and in his spare time enjoys walking the South Downs of England with his three dogs.