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3 Women in Manufacturing and their success – Midlands Edition

Women in Manufacturing

We are here to celebrate successful Women in Manufacturing on the lead up to International Women’s Day and as a female-led Business we feel happily obliged to do so! 

The Manufacturing Industry in February 2020 contained 74% Men and only 26% Women.

Many people believe that one of the reasons for the low amount of Women in Manufacturing is due to the lack of representation in the workplace and the media – including celebrating female role models in the industry. After speaking to Apprentices in blog 1 there is a definite discussion needed around the education system and pushing STEM roles at this stage as well as a discussion within the Industry itself; sharing positive experiences.

Engineering Industry

Another contributing factor is the need to have more representation in the form of blogs, articles, news and media coverage – even searching for royalty free imagery of ‘Women in Manufacturing’ came up with little to no results…

We need to be able to read and celebrate these motivating women that exist out there as this will encourage others that it is possible to be successful in a male dominated sector and continue to bridge that gap; having those role models really is crucial to young women. If they can see someone else like them in the sector succeeding and thriving, then why can’t they? 

So we wanted to do just that, by talking to 3 Businesses in the Midlands proudly run by Women and ask them: What does it take to get to where they are? 

Emma Hockley - Big Bear Plastic Products Ltds.

We spoke to Emma Hockley, the MD of Big Bear Plastic Products Ltd based in Droitwich, Worcester:

Tell us about yourself, how have you got to where you are today? 

E: “I work for Big Bear Plastic Products Ltd, a manufacturing business specialising in the design, development and production of technical thermoplastic components using vacuum-forming and compression forming technology. I was recently promoted to Managing Director, following 6 years working in various roles across the business, but most recently as Sales Director. Big Bear was founded by my father, Gerald Bloom, and so with my appointment as MD we are able to establish a strong succession plan and map a long-term future for our business. 

Admittedly, it has been something of a baptism of fire, since Big Bear is actually the first manufacturer I have worked for; my previous roles could not have been more different and my education was also not designed with manufacturing in mind! I completed my A levels (in English Lit, French and Spanish), followed by a degree in English Lit and Spanish at the University of Leeds.

After uni I landed a work experience job with the PR department at Harrods – and then worked my way up to eventually become Buyer for Perfumery & Cosmetics, which was the largest buying division in the store with a turnover of c.£58m, and then Head of Marketing for the whole of the Beauty division. 

Big Bear Plastic Products Ltd.
Image from Big Bear Plastic Products Ltd. website.

When I first started at Big Bear I felt totally unprepared, having come from a completely different world. But the more I understood the business the more I realised that my time at Harrods had actually given me valuable training in many of the skills I needed. Ultimately, business is about keeping your customers happy, and if there is one thing Harrods does well, it is customer service!

Harrods was high pressured, fast paced, and expectations were high – it was a very slick operation. Unlike manufacturing, there were a lot more women in senior roles and I had the privilege of working for two female bosses who were very tough, but totally inspiring and who definitely pushed me and educated me on so many levels.” 

How did you get into working within Manufacturing and what enticed you to choose this industry over others? 

E: “I can’t really say that I chose to end up working in Manufacturing…it was more by accident than by design! My husband and I decided to move back to Birmingham before our son was born, in order to be close to our families. When I was ready to go back to work, I thought a daily commute to Harrods would be a bit much!

So I started doing some marketing work at Big Bear…I re-launched the website and wrote new marketing collateral. The more I learned about the business, the more questions I asked, the more interested I became and it took off from there. I started working with the sales team and began to raise the profile of the business with new customers.” 

As you will know, Women represent just 26% of people working within Manufacturing. After your promotion to Managing Director of Big Bear Plastic Products how has your journey to this position been in terms of being in a superior role over a predominantly male industry? 

E: “I have found it quite difficult, because not only am I a woman in a predominantly male business, I am also the boss’s daughter! Not to mention that I started with no previous experience of manufacturing. So I had a massive case of imposter syndrome and it has taken me a long time to build my confidence to where it was when I was in a senior role at Harrods feeling completely sure of myself and what I was doing.

I have worked hard to build strong relationships with my colleagues and to establish my own style and way of working. One of the most challenging things I have found is questioning the status quo, and not being brushed away or fobbed off with a “because that’s how it is” style of answer…I had to keep pushing, and it has taken a lot of persistence and determination to get to a point where I can say “I’m sorry but I don’t accept that…” 

From the beginning of your career to now, have you come across any challenges working within Manufacturing and how you have overcome them?

E: “Oh my goodness, absolutely loads! There is always something to deal with, it seems that it’s never straightforward! Just when I think I’ve got the hang of it something else happens which will be a whole new learning curve. But I suppose that is what makes life interesting… and ultimately, you have to get high quality parts out of the door on time, and not let the customer down. Of course, things go wrong, but to overcome them, generally it’s a case of bringing your team together and focusing everyone’s mind on the problem at hand.”

Lastly, could you give us some inspirational advice to any young female who is looking to start her career within the Manufacturing/Engineering Industries? 

E: I didn’t start my own career in Manufacturing, and I do wish I had had the opportunity to have more “hands on” experience working in the factory. If I was starting again then I would definitely spend more time on the shop floor understanding the processes and production side of the business. Having said that, does it matter that I don’t know how to operate a mould machine? Not really, because I have an experienced team around me who do a brilliant job, and I bring other skills which the business needs also.”

Take criticism – ask for it, learn from it and do better next time. Keep going, you will get knocked back and you will feel like you can’t do it but you can!

“Most importantly though, I believe if you bring lots of energy and enthusiasm to whatever you are doing, the opportunities will definitely come.”


Marie Palmer - CIWS

We then spoke to Marie Palmer, a Director at Cast Iron Welding Services based in Leicester. She is very passionate about the representation of Women in the industry as well as Apprenticeships and she kindly shared her experiences with us: 

How did you get into working in the Manufacturing Industry? 

M: “I was in Legal working for a Solicitors for many years and my route into working in the Engineering industry happened to be a process improvement project, particularly a new computer system enabling better traceability and communications. It was a challenge as it involved changing a lot of internal systems that were very paper based. After successfully carrying that project out my job evolved; over time I was given more responsibilities due to my background such as the quality assurance side of the business, accreditations, etc. Now as Director, I assist the MD in managing all operations carried out within CIWS.  

I am not a trained engineer; however, I have a good skill set including what they call the ‘helicopter approach’ – which allows me to see the overall picture when having a problem which I need to find a solution to. I have a varied role in my position at an SME including being in charge of H&S too. Not one day is the same!”

Along your Career Journey – have you had any issues/challenges along the way working within a male-dominated environment?  

M: “It was initially quite intimidating so I think you have to be confident and ask questions. For instance, if I was needing help with a technical side of the business I would need to speak with the technical team of course, who happen to be all male. However I’ve always found that if you showed an interest, want to understand how it all works and asked the right questions they were great at embracing the change and helping me.

I have been fortunate on a day to day basis but I do think that my experiences of attending exhibitions and being on the sales side that women are a minority. Sometimes you may not be given the consideration because of not having the engineer or technical background, it is something I have come across however I use it as a challenge – I am going to ask more questions and make you engage with me!  

Marie Palmer - CIWS

Marie in Mexico when setting up their franchise: “I was fortunate enough to have a tour of a power station, the cylinder heads that we remanufacture fit on the engine behind me.”

I joined Made in the Midlands in 2019 and it was one of the best things I could have done. As it’s geared around the Manufacturing Industry it’s very male dominated of course – my first intro meeting (before the likes of zoom) I remember walking in to the room full of men. It was a bit daunting but everyone was so welcoming and I felt comfortable straight away. I have connected with lots of different people from different companies – I’ve had such a positive experience so far.

For me, trying to find organisations that have the positive approach to diversity and equality is one of the best things I have chosen to do – it’s given me the confidence in putting myself out there. Women do have a strong place in this industry and nothing should put you off.”

I know you are passionate about the representation of females within the industry, do you have any inspirational words of advice to any aspiring women in manufacturing? 

Try and talk to as many people as possible; don’t be afraid to connect with people and ask questions – we all have transferrable skills and something to bring to the table.

By having this in the back of your mind you have to take the leap and see what opportunities are there. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a traditional engineering background – it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply! Women are problem solvers and have an organisational way of thinking which fits within the Engineering industry. The jobs and opportunities available are very vast and you need a good cross section of different skills and abilities in any business in the industry, so take that leap and don’t hold back!


And lastly we spoke to our very own – Hana Robertson – to hear her experiences along her career journey up to HanaTech:

Hana studied BEng & BCom Manufacturing Engineering and Business @ University of Birmingham where she covered principles such as Computer Aided Design & Manufacturing, World Class Manufacturing & Total Quality Management. From here she gained much industry experience, progressing through different corporate operational and improvement roles to senior leadership roles such as Head of Digital.

We asked Hana more about her background:

Why did you choose to work within a STEM role and within Manufacturing?

H: “I do have a vague memory of a STEM workshop day, in Year 9 before choosing my GCSEs, which looking back was great considering I attended an all-girls school. This must have influenced me, as I chose an A level in Design Technology along with Maths, so I guess I was always destined to have a career in the engineering sector. I’ve always enjoyed problem solving and creating solutions. Unfortunately the STEM workshop didn’t influence many as only 4 of us took DT a A level and I was the only female from my year to do an engineering degree. There were only 3 females including myself on the degree intake of around 80/90 people.

It didn’t put me off though, in fact I think it inspired me more to work hard and prove the value I had to bring.

Relating back to my degree – I found the course really interesting. It was an end-to-end degree from design principles, solution prototyping, marketing and manufacturing – right through to finance. Taking a design concept right through to the end product was really rewarding and felt meaningful to me. Most people went into project/business management with my degree, but I liked the manufacturing environment.

I was fortunate enough to join a graduate scheme at Tarmac where I spent the first 8 years of my career progressing through operational and improvement roles, visiting dozens of quarries, asphalt, concrete and block plants throughout the UK during the time. I loved the straightforward, practical and hands-on ‘get on with it’ culture and met some amazing people.

What were your challenges or experiences in managing teams that were male dominant?

H: “It was my experience at Tarmac where I soon learnt what style would work and what approach to take, which I’ve built on during my career journey. Not only was Tarmac male dominated, particularly out in the operational roles, I held a change role from very early on as part of a national continuous improvement initiative and we all know that change is not easy.

I remember a certain quarry manager asking me:

What can you tell me about how to run my quarry?”

to which I calmly answered:

I don’t know about your quarry yet, but having visited many others I’ve seen a lot of good practice and not so good, that I am happy to share. Can we go and have a walk round now please?”

I think if I would have gone in as a head strong female leader I wouldn’t have had a good response and gained resistance. Instead I concentrated on shifting the focus of the conversation away from ‘who knows more’ back to the workings of the quarry and found that walking round the sites with these proud managers, asking lots of questions and making meaningful observations started to break down the initial barriers. I also didn’t take offence, and learned to grow broad shoulders.

I like to understand why people think or behave the way they do such as change and the notion of ‘comfort zones’ – which is why I focus on change management at HanaTech. This experience gave me a great foundation to go on and lead male technical teams such as the IT department at IESA, which was my last corporate role.

Even then I was faced with a few ‘techies’ who tried to challenge what I knew about a particularly technical aspect of IT infrastructure for example, to which I replied:

“is that not why we hire you? Talk me through our current set up, lets discuss the constraints and the business case, and then leave me as your manager to make something happen”.

Unfortunately for one individual, the fact that he had a female leader did not work for him and he left, but that’s ok too.

I’ve learned to be successful you need to have the right team around you who are engaged and committed. I am good at creating a vision and getting the team behind it, as well as not being afraid to ask the ‘silly’ questions that other managers may not ask.

Why do you think that there are less Women in Manufacturing and STEM roles?

H: “I find this hard to answer as I have such a bias towards the industry. But reeling off the stats earlier shows just how low the percentage of females even taking the subjects are let alone starting a career within STEM. 

I think that there are women out there that don’t want to enter the Manufacturing sector due to their perception of the environment or perhaps feeling intimidated. I mentioned earlier some situations where having broad shoulders has helped, but it could have as easily put someone off.

In my time I have conducted many site visits and attending a male-dominant workplace can have its downsides, for example the odd characteristic ‘inappropriate’ calendar on display in a locker room or kitchen area, which of course could be very off-putting to potential new staff if they were female; it’s these things which let the perception down at a time where there is a push for workplace diversity.

Women in Tech

However, I think the pace of change in technology could bring more females into STEM roles, particularly Technology roles. As a Head of Digital I was pleased when I started to see more female software developer applications coming through and I hope that this is only on the increase as digital technology becomes more creative and focussed on user experience and consumer behaviour.

I’d imagine that it will be sectors such as B2C, retail, finance and services that see the increase in females first, with manufacturing unfortunately trailing behind for the perception reasons I’ve mentioned. However, I think with the drive on sustainability and the circular economy, this could bring more females into manufacturing and STEM roles, as this publicity is raising awareness of just how much direct impact you could make in these roles and in this fantastically important sector.


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General News

Now let’s celebrate – 3 Female Apprentices in Manufacturing

Manufacturing UK

It is known that women represent under 1/4 of the Manufacturing Industry – a predominently male sector.

We are here to celebrate our women, today’s topic –  Female Apprentices in Manufacturing 💪

Why is this dear to us you ask? HanaTech is a female-led business of course, made up of Hana herself, and Shannon (myself) – the marketer. We feel passionate about speaking up on the representation of women in our industry (take a look at our 9 inspiring Women in Tech post here) and feel it should be celebrated in the lead up to International Women’s Day (March 8th)

The industry contributes towards every part of our country from travel, to automobiles, to consumerism and the economy; it’s the foundation of how the world works. The everyday average person may not notice it but from the second you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, Manufacturing has played a part of your day: 

You get the idea.  

But what creates a successful business starts with the people who are part of it – every staff member from every department plays an important role in keeping the cogs turning. Some employee’s may have been at their business from day 1 of leaving school, some may be part of a family business, others may have joined through a job vacancy.

Apprenticeships are generally associated with construction or engineering but there are so many out there for many different job sectors and it is a great way to start a career path with gaining important qualifications whilst physically gaining the experience.

Female Apprentices in Manufacturing

Many young people today struggle to find a job role after university due to lack of experience; whilst they have the knowledge and qualifications, many companies look for more than that.  A 2019 study shown that female apprentices in manufacturing are outnumbered 14-to-1 by their male peers.

In the current climate of the global pandemic, COVID-19 had risen the rate of unemployment and students are worried:

 Research by UK-based graduate jobs website Milkround shows just 18% of graduates are securing jobs this year (2020) compared to the typical 60%* 

*https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200901-the-class-of-2020s-uncertain-present-and-future 

 We spoke to 3 female apprentices in Manufacturing businesses to find out more about their roles:

Raisa Matadar

Raisa Matadar, a 23 year old Mechatronics Maintenance Technician at JLR paint shop based in Solihull, UK. Her daily tasks involve:

  • Servicing and maintaining the sealer, paint robots and guns
  • Attending breakdowns on the overhead and IPF conveyor systems that the vehicle bodies are transported on and carrying out fire safety audits

She has also led a team project based around cost saving and reducing energy usage.

Raisa has proudly won the following regional and national awards – 

● ‘Top 50 Female Apprentices in Engineering by the Women’s Engineering Society in June 2019

● ‘Highly Commended’ at The Asian Apprenticeship Awards 2019

● ‘Rising Star’ at WorldSkills UK Diversity and Inclusion Awards

●Shortlisted for ‘Apprentice of The Year’ at Enginuity (SEMTA) in September 2020


What made you go down the route of an Apprenticeship rather than simply applying for job vacancies? 

R: I really loved the academic aspect of school and sixth form! I enjoyed learning and wanted to try everything that I possibly could. My parents moved to the United Kingdom to give me and my brother a better chance at education and life that they had access to – so I always knew how important learning would be and the opportunities it would unlock for me. 

It wasn’t until I completed a week of work experience with my brother, that I fell in love with engineering. My brother was the first in our family to choose to do an apprenticeship – everyone else before had taken the more traditional university route and everyone had expected me to do the same. Watching my older brother working with tools and machines, designing, creating and fixing aerospace components sparked an interest in me. The only difference was, he liked planes and I liked cars. I watched him build up his skill throughout his 4-year apprenticeship, gain a university degree and secure himself a job that he loved, all without the debt a traditional route would have added. 

I began to research engineering firms around the midlands, and was surprised at the time to find that manufacturing jobs totalled to 8% of jobs in the UK – yet manufacturing careers were never talked about by our career advisors! Ultimately, I chose manufacturing as the process from design to manufacture excited me. Knowing that an idea on paper could be bought to life and used to solve real, everyday problems was something that I wanted to be a part of. Not only that, but manufacturing was everywhere! From food to transport, beauty products and agriculture. 

What made you want to work for a huge manufacturer such as JLR?

R: I have been obsessed with Range Rovers since I was a little kid – this obsession carried onto my teens and I was convinced that one day I would own one. JLR, being Britain’s largest car manufacturer was only a short drive away from me. I applied to lots of different engineering companies but JLR stood out for me as my first choice. 

My employer has also been extremely supportive in all of the extra-curricular activities that often take you away from ‘your day job’ as an apprentice. I have had the opportunity to travel abroad, regularly meet with MPs to discuss apprenticeships and I am asked to speak about my experience as a female engineer from different parts of the business regularly.

What are your thoughts on the lack of Women in Manufacturing/Engineering; why do you think this is?

R: I don’t feel like engineering is really presented as an opportunity to young women out there. I know that my careers advisors never talked to me about engineering, even though they knew that my brother had taken a similar path. I think manufacturing in general is still seen as a ‘man’s’ job. 

I think a lot of it is to do with culture too. I have spoken to lots of women who entered the manufacturing sector in hands on roles and after a couple of years ended up in more office-based roles. Manufacturing is slowly increasing the number of intakes each year of female engineers, but its retention rates have a lot to do with the culture that can be deeply rooted within the sector. 

I have always said that you can’t be who you can’t see.

If I had seen a woman of colour, working on machines and robots, and excelling in a predominantly white male workforce, it would’ve encouraged me to pursue the role I am in now much sooner. So I am a big believer in role models and the more positive female engineers we have out there, the less likely a young girl is going to doubt if the world of manufacturing is for her or not. 


Jamie Painter - AE Aerospace Ltd

Jamie is a 24 year old Marketing and Communications Apprentice for AE Aerospace Ltd – a machine to print, subcontract precision machining company for the Aerospace, Marine & Defence industries based in Birmingham, UK. Since she started in 2020, she has already gained much knowledge about her company and what it means to be an SME in supply chain; she has even set up a TikTok account for AE Aerospace creating amazing content and increasing brand awareness!

  

What made you go down the route of an Apprenticeship rather than simply applying for job vacancies? 

J: I had always thought I wanted to pursue a career in Psychology and did in fact obtain a degree in BSc Psychology in 2019. However, working as Public Relations Officer alongside my degree made me realise that I would rather build a career out of something I enjoy. During the first lockdown, I felt unfulfilled and unable to even secure an interview for marketing companies because I had 0 qualifications in the sector and going back into full time education was not ideal for me.

An apprenticeship was the best way forward as I was learning valuable skills whilst earning. It meant I could apply the digital marketing theory to the campaigns we were producing – gaining great experience. I wanted to find a role that had scope for development and some creative freedom in terms of the type of content I wanted to create, thus bringing me to my current role as Marketing and Communications Apprentice at AE Aerospace. 

Why did you want to be in Manufacturing over other sectors?  

J: When applying for Marketing Apprenticeships I was really open-minded about what sector I would like to work in.

I’m a strong believer of having a healthy work/life balance and have found that a positive work environment is a direct contributor to the quality of work you produce.

This is initially what attracted me to AE in the interview stage, the welcoming nature of the team here really spoke to me. Furthermore, because AE Aerospace is an SME, I felt that I would be able to learn a lot here and there was also the opportunity to grow within the business. I like the creative freedom I have to try new ideas and also the opportunity to learn from my mistakes. Plus, it’s an aerospace company so maybe when all this is over we may be able to get on a plane somewhere! 

Why do you think that there is a lack of female apprentices in manufacturing? 

J: Honestly, I think a lot of females including myself can feel overwhelmed simply by the phrase ‘manufacturing sector’. It has been a male dominated industry as long as we can remember and to break into that can be scary! For instance, even now in 2021 ‘Lego friends’ is targeted towards girls whilst ‘Lego city’ is marketed to boys. This conditioning process sets a path for the types of careers different genders should go into… 

I would like to believe change is coming, for instance we now have a female craft apprentice on the shop floor. I hope this encourages others who may be interested in aerospace engineering to take that step knowing that there is another female there too.  


Alisha Slough - High Peak Steels

And last but not least, we spoke to Alisha Slough, a 22 year old who works in Sales and Marketing for High Peak Steels, a Steel stockholders based in Glossop, UK. She has worked for the company for 5 years, being an integral part of the team. 

Tell us about yourself:  

A: I am quite outgoing and will speak my mind a little too much sometimes. I work in the steel sector where I started out as a business admin apprentice and gradually worked my way up to being full time in sales. I am now on a digital marketing apprenticeship.

Why did you want to work for a Manufacturing Business such as High Peak Steels? 

A: I wanted to work for High Peak Steels as at the time it was a great business opportunity for myself with room to grow but I soon learnt that this sector is male dominated. At first it was a little intimidating however now in my day to day I thrive off showing the men how well a woman can do this job too! During Covid we have helped in the ventilator challenge and providing materials for cargo to ship medical equipment up and down the country, even though this is only a very small part in the help to beat COVID I am proud to say we have helped towards it and kept it all British. 

Why do you think that there is a lack of female apprentices in Manufacturing or even just Women in Manufacturing job roles? 

A: Personally I think women are intimidated by the men in this industry and they don’t need to be. We need more women to overcome this stereotype which I think is slowly starting to happen. Its perceived as a ‘man’s world’ in the engineering game but it’s really any world you make it. 


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HanaTech News Change Management Digital Process Improvement Helpful Advice & Tips

1 Expert Digital Improvement Plan

A Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas to you all! 

Our last day is here, and we’re just about ready to head into 2021! But not without showing you our continuous digital improvement plan…  
12 Days of HanaTech Christmas

Let’s recap what we’ve learnt over the 12 Days of HanaTech Christmas:  

  • 12 Reasons why we all NEED to change, showing different case studies and motivating reasons why  
  • 11 Innovations all around us that we don’t even realise they come second nature, things we use every single day to keep our lives going much easier and efficiently  
  • 10+ hours lost and how to TIME MANAGE successfully; with advice and tips around starting to manage your time, how to go about it and why it’s important 
  • 9 hugely inspiring Women in Tech and how their inventions shaped the future of today  
  • 8 tough but actionable wastes in your business, explained and what you should do about yours 
  • 7 motivating reasons to NOT give up hope, with tips and advice on how to be proactive, set those goals and to continue your journey 
  • 6 important pain points you need to improve in your business, what they are and where to start your overview development plan  
  • 5 Gold savingsssssss! (Never get’s old) A few cost free ways to get those quick wins in the business yourself with some resources  
  • 4 key factors in your development journey which you look at through your 6 pain points, what the factors are and where to get started with your plan of action 
  • 3 vital words – Digital Baseline Review, what it is and how we use it to start your business’es digital process improvement plan 
  • 2+ easy ways to speak to us, a little bit about HanaTech’s employee’s and different ways to contact us

Which leads us to here… 

At HanaTech we do things differently.  

We aren’t your usual Business Consultancy. We work with you from beginning to end, every step of the way. We don’t just offer business advice, we work out a digital improvement plan keeping you included whilst offering our expert advice on how to digitally improve your workplace. We aren’t here to ‘force a sale’, we’re here because turning traditional factories to factories of the future is our passion.

We’re bespoke and tailor the plan to your business needs – none of this cold call style sales speech, just pure honest advice. We’re transparent with you, as we believe in a not just a smart factory, but a transparent glass factory future; to be able to show customers your processes and be PROUD of how successful you are.  

Digital improvement plan

That’s why it’s a continuous digital improvement plan!  

We start off with quick wins and work our way from there, depending on the business. If you’re not quite ready for large digital solutions that’s okay! We’ll do our Digital Baseline Review by looking over the 6 pain points, identifying the 4 key factors along the way and we can create your digital improvement plan to span over as much time as you need.  

We help you understand the solutions, work with you to tweak it to your specifications and we’ll also put in our expertise and add solutions you will not have thought of.  

Here to Help

We build trust and relationships as the end goal, is to get your business on top of the competition, but continually holding that position by working on change management and the last key factor – culture of innovation.

  

We hope you enjoyed the 12 Day’s of HanaTech Christmas – it’s jam packed of great advice, tips, and how to work with us!  

Set those 2021 New Year’s Resolutions and speak to us to help start your journey…  

HanaTech has some amazing projects in the pipelines so don’t forget to follow us on our socials and our main LinkedIn page to keep up to date with any announcements.. Which there may be some in January! 

Lastly,  

Stay Safe, and have a great one! 

HanaTech Ltd.  

Digital Process Improvement in the West Midlands
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HanaTech News

2+ easy ways to speak to us

 

Xmas Hanabot

It’s Christmas Eve!

And what better way to spend it than reading our day 2 blog post! (Thanks for being here, we really do appreciate it) and here’s 2+ easy ways to speak to us … 

It’s been a year for the History Books thats for sure… and it was our 1st year of trade! HanaTech’s 1st Birthday was on the 18th December, where we celebrated getting through 2020. We are so thankful of the support we have received so far; we have so many amazing projects lined up that we can’t wait to reveal in the new year! We really focus on being that business consultant in supporting Manufacturing in the most one to one way possible; our approach is what makes us different from the rest.

If you’ve come this far through our 12 Day’s of HanaTech Christmas, congratulations! We hope you’ve learnt a lot! So, this is a little introductory post on who we are and a few easy ways to speak to us, whether it be to to ask any questions you may have, to start your digital development plan, or to get some more business advice…

HanaTech Ltd. right now is made up of Hana herself, and me: Shannon. 

A little bit about Hana… 

Hana has had a fantastic line up of experience under her belt, spanning over 15 years!  

2 + Easy ways to speak to us

“I am passionate about supporting Traditional Factories to become Factories of the Future, one quick win at a time.” 

Being a female led business in Tech and Manufacturing is something Hana should be proud of, as it is bridging that gap – mentioned in our inspiring women Day 9 post. There is still a way to go in terms of bringing more women into the industry’s however Hana is paving the way to becoming an inspirational leader, striving to make a difference in Britain’s important industrial sector.  

Random Fact about Hana: 

“I used to be in the TA REME Corps (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) and in normal non pandemic years, I love to ski! I’ve skied in Bansko when I left my corporate job to start HanaTech and skied in Lapland too! As well as that I also love doing charity runs, 10k’s being my favourite” 

Shannon

And then there’s me, Shannon.

I am the digital marketer for HanaTech. I thoroughly enjoy my role, as I get to make a difference and be part of an important service. Plus I get to create some amazing content… Click here for an interview with Made in the Midlands on being Female and an Apprentice in Manufacturing

My background started with art, through to gaining a BA Fine Art honours Degree at Birmingham City University. I have since freelanced and delved into Graphic Design where now I have started my career in Digital Marketing. I love creating content, communicating with others and being a part of something which keeps the business going; staying relevant.  

Random Fact about Shannon:  

“I have an unhealthy obsession with house plants… I treat them like they were pets! I find a lot of inspiration in them for my illustration outside of HanaTech.” 

Some easy ways to SPEAK to us! 

If you need to get in touch with either of us.. Or just HanaTech Ltd. in general follow one of these: 

  • Call us – on 01384 913 010  
  • If you prefer, Email us through – [email protected] 
  • Message us through our Socials, We are on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!  
  • Follow us on our socials and keep up to date with what we are doing, drop a comment and we’ll be happy to chat!  
  • Visit our website to find our contact page, our chat bot or fill out a contact form 

We are looking forward to hearing from you all, building more relationships and making a difference to our local Manufacturing Industry and more, remember these easy ways to speak to us and get in touch!

Categories
HanaTech News Digital Process Improvement

3 Valuable Words – Digital Baseline Review

We are on Day 3.. Christmas Eve, Eve! And we will be showing you 3 valuable words – Digital Baseline Review and what we do… 

Our approach at HanaTech is to be as transparent as possible, to give you the information you require put across in terms that YOU understand. We work with all kinds of SME’s in the manufacturing industry at different knowledge levels of the tech jargon based Industry 4.0, and it doesn’t matter what point you’re at on the timeline; we tailor our training and advice to you and YOUR business. 

It is often a question we get regularly;  

“What is a Digital Baseline Review?” 

As this is a phrase we use across all of our platforms and website, we thought it’s best to explain what it is, why we do it, what are it’s purposes and how it can help YOU begin your digital improvement journey... 

Let’s set the scene –  

It’s 2021, you’ve started the year reviewing your business, section by section. You’ve looked at your takings, your customers. You know you need a progression plan for the year to start upping those figures but, you don’t really know where to start or what your business even needs. That’s where HanaTech comes in. You choose us, a business consultancy to speak to about getting some advice.  

*Drops us an email, or a phone call* 

Lady on the Phone

“Hi Hana, This is J. Bloggs, Operations Manager for J Bloggs Ltd. We could do with some help! We aren’t sure where to start, but we have a basic plan…” 

Hana Logo

“Hi Ms Bloggs! You’ve come to the right place! Of course we will be of service, to start with, I will need to do a Digital Baseline Review of your business to identify areas of improvement or opportunities to base our digital process improvement plan off. And that’s where it all starts! We will give you as much advice as possible, help you understand your DBR and what steps to take next…”

Lady on the Phone

“Okay, Well what is a Digital Baseline Review?”* 

*Example Conversation

A Digital Baseline Review is a report style review which covers the 4 key areas mentioned in day 4 – Customer Journey, Operations & Process, Use of Realtime Data and Culture of Innovation. The review is carried out by us either through an on-site visit (no more than 2 hours) or depending on circumstance can be done remotely through a zoom/video call.  

Once we have looked over your business, we then provide an overall score % whether you’re a completely traditional business, digital beginner or even closer to the digital master side but you still need some tweaking. Along with this we provide you with recommendations of improvements to make. 

Example of a Digital Baseline Review

But why would I need to do this DBR? 

By taking part in this, it starts off the improvement journey with a structured and informative way to put the plan together. By seeing where your business lies on the DBR scale, you’re already gaining more visibility to the processes and you may even see some things you never noticed before… You want to know where you begin, and where you want to be at the end of the journey.  

If you’d like to see an example of the DBR click here 

How is this going to help me? 

We take a much more bespoke approach than others, as we understand how every business is different. We really pride ourselves in helping SME’s succeed in the local manufacturing industry which is why 2021 is the time to start those development plans! But less about us.. Why is doing a DBR going to help YOU? 

Times are changing, the world is changing. And the industry too, is changing around you.  

Time really doesn’t wait for anyone, whilst you are plodding along at work thinking things are going okay, your competitors are looking at new ways to work, new ways to gain more trade and develop stronger relationships with multiple people. Drastic changes can happen at any minute which can shut down businesses for good (Look at 2020, nobody saw that coming!?) 

By always being on the lookout for new ways to work, this will keep things interesting and motivating but also put your business on top. 2021 is the year of change – we all need to adapt our way of life to keep up with the growth of the world.  

Don't let it leave you behind... 

If you’d like to book a complimentary Digital Baseline Review now, or simply have a chat to us about the possibilities feel free to contact us! And we will support you every step of the way, One Quick Win at a Time… 

Categories
Digital Process Improvement

4 informative KEY factors in your growing digital journey

There are 4 key factors in your journey of digital development with HanaTech…  

But before that, we have to start right at the beginning…  

If you have learnt anything from our blog posts so far (we hope so!) Then you’ll already be a trainee of personal development. You’ll be starting your New Year’s Resolutions, making those lists whether they be on paper or on your Notes app, you’ll be preparing for some key factors you want to change in 2021… and then you’ll probably include some work improvements too. 

Whether you’re working for a company, whether you own one, whether it’s small or medium or even large, we all have a ‘progress plan’ of some kind. Then there is always that list of ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ that we make all motivated, and then forget about in week 2. But 2021 NEEDS to be different. 

We are going to show you OUR Plan on a Page for how we complete our Digital Process Improvement and what key factors we look at to go from a Digital Beginner, to a Digital Master… 

key factors

1. CUSTOMER CENTRIC – Products and Services 

This is the starting point of the journey, where you gain your customers and how that all happens. Here are some examples of improvements we can make: 

  • Sales won through loyal base and word-of-mouth 
  • Customer interactions based from email, phone, post and fax 
  • Areas of inefficiency within CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE 

To 

  • Strong E-commerce presence and seamless multi-channel experience 
  • ENGAGED CUSTOMERS sharing POSITIVE REVIEWS 
  • Wherever, Whenever service proposition 
Key Factors

2. OPTIMISED DIGITALISED processes and operations 

Your processes are, well, the steel beams of the business holding it all together. Your processes and how they run are what keeps your business going and whether it gets the trade or not. If you have processes that aren’t running as well as they could/should be, this can be detrimental. Customers will go elsewhere to places more efficient to trade… 

Here are examples of improvements we can make: 

  • Multiple disconnected systems and manual tasks with minimal data recorded 
  • Long set up times 
  • Rework caused by lackof process controls 

To 

  • Integrated end-to-end digital processes and 3rd party systems 
  • Intelligent automation to replace manual tasks 
  • Automated controls, monitoring and workflow 
Key Factors

3. DATA RICH and real time insight – 

We are very much in the technical age, where we can pretty much access any piece of information at the touch of a button. We live our daily lives with all sorts of smart technology such as Amazon Alexa’s, iPhones with Face iD and Apple Wallets, Ring Doorbells with HD video just to name a few. So, why wouldn’t you want your work life to be as efficient? By having access and much more visibility to your data, this can generate real time insights and dashboards to gather reports and make improvements or adjustments.  

Here are some examples of improvements we can make: 

  • Time lag on operational, customer and management information resulting in reactive decision making 
  • Difficult to capture meaningful data 

To 

  • Real time metrics and full traceability of data 
  • Advanced and predictive intelligence and analytics for proactive decisions and action 
  • Improved targeting with customer insights 
Key Factors

4. CULTURE OF INNOVATION and embracing technology 

Change management is one of the toughest tasks out there, especially as it includes a sort of ‘selling’ technique to encourage people to get on board. There are many different types of people and their traits out there, looking back at the technology adoption cycle there are reasons why the category of laggards exist, and this can be due to the ‘resistance to change’ mindset. By helping with change management, this helps a business from the inside out – as even staff need encouragement too.  

Here are some examples of improvements we can make: 

  • Little investment spent on R&D innovation 
  • Lack of engagement in the need for change 
  • Team comfortable with’doing business the way it has always been done’ 

To 

  • New technology explored and utilised 
  • Empowered tech savvy team with digital skills to keep up with INDUSTRY 4.0 
  • Continuous innovation to find ways to disrupt the market and stay relevant 

Those are our 4 KEY FACTORS to the digital process improvement plan journey, and of course, we help you understand each stage along the way.

Change is always difficult, but change is inevitable, important and necessary to keep moving forwards. If nothing ever changed, we would be stuck in a groundhog day…  

Take a look at our ‘Plan on a Page’ in more detail here and tomorrow we will look at 3 Important words for Day 3… 

Remember to drop us any queries you have, or if you want to start your Digital Development Plan!

Categories
Helpful Advice & Tips

5 Gold Savings! Everybody loves a bargain …

Gold Savings
After a year of many losses in the work place, redundancies, business closures and profit decreases nobody wants or in fact has the funding to go looking for large expensive solutions, we need some small quick wins with gold savings!

Small to medium businesses out there are looking for support, motivation to carry on and improvement plans going forward with somebody you can trust. 

Our 5 gold savings (get it.. After the 5 gold rings…) tips and advice will give you and your business more hope to ACTUALLY follow through with those New Year’s Resolutions in 2021… 

1. Read all of our 12 Day’s of HanaTech Christmas posts!

This may seem a little cliché but honestly, good advice can be hard to come by, or at a price. We have provided 12 in depth posts of advice, tips, links and resources for you to use to support yourself and your business. There’s nothing like a good list, so go through our 12 days, pick out some points you can take from it and write them down! Get a head start on your self improvement plan or your business/work plan. Don’t get us wrong though, there are many other resources out there that are free too that we think are gold savings… 

2. See our Support Packages – from £250! 

Many digital process improvement plans come at a cost; 10’s of thousands to be exact. As well as that upfront price, they also require ongoing large monthly payments to keep your processes going, running and updating them which you may not be aware of.  

The Assessor 
250 
*VAT 
Per Review 
We offer a complimentary initial Digital 
Baseline Review to all of our clients. Additional 
assessments are priced at €250 +VAT which 
covers a half day onsite review, travel and the 
report 
The Deliverer 
Prices Starting From 
El 000 
+VAT 
Per Project 
We offer Fixed Fee prices on a project by project 
basis. Quick win projects are priced from El ,OOO 
+VAT upwards dependant on the complexity and 
duration of the project, with an average quick 
win project costing €5,000 +VAT. 
Most projects will qualify for funding 
consideration to offset up to 33% towards 
project costs dependent on meeting eligibility 
criteria; we provide support and advice on 
possible funding available and work closely with 
providers such as the Manufacturing Growth 
Programme 
The Innovator 
E500 
*VAT 
Monthly 
Our clients preferred partnership package. We 
offer flexible ongoing innovation support to 
further develop the companies Digital 
Roadmap and to offer change management 
such as monitoring quick win improvements. 
We provide support and advice on how the 
Digital innovations could meet R&D Tax Credit 
incentives and work closely with experts in 
that field. 
The Innovator support contract can be tailored 
dependant on the business needs and starts 
from €500 +VAT per month which is 
equivalent to one days support per month.

TRANSPARENCY – it is KEY for you to get a rough quote.

There is nothing more frustrating than researching a product online and finding no links anywhere to even an estimated price range. We are clear with you – see here for our packages. Of course, there isn’t a way of getting an exact price until an improvement plan is made, as we tailor it to suit your needs whilst giving our professional advice but by providing these packages and information we want to give you as much detail as possible; so you know you can work with us! 

3. Resources – Seminars, Workshops and more! 

There are LOTS of gold savings online, free resources to be exact. They can help you with almost anything… especially in the year of online learning! As much as being on constant zoom meetings can be a little draining, put some time out to join a few workshops here and there that you WANT to be a part of. Don’t know where to start?  

  • Eventbrite are a platform where you can search for any online event, some are purchase only but there are MANY you grab tickets for that cost nothing! I myself have joined a few on topics I want to learn more about, and come out of it with much more motivation to succeed. 
  • Skillshare is another platform that provides online classes of many things that you can apply in your work life, such as marketing and social media skills, graphic design lessons and much more. Whilst there is a premium version for £7 a month, you can stick with the free account and search for free classes. 
  • Facebook and LinkedIn classes – If you follow the right people, often you can find free seminars/workshops they are offering through Facebook or Linkedin, sometimes even an Instagram live! Which means you can ask questions and get answers swiftly (if they read your question of course)  
  • Connecting with people/pages and groups in your interests or line of work – By making connections with people online you can see what they post right? Obviously. By joining groups and following pages of interest you will cater your feeds to see topcs you actually find interesting and even motivating. Sometimes people will post tips and tricks which is a free resource in itself! 
  • Useful Links – We have done a lot of research for you! Take a look at our useful links including Manufacturing associations, FUNDING, and Business Support for the Manufacturing Industry 

3. HELP yourself and make use of what’s out there, DON’T underutilise! 

Although many of us out there find social media’s rather draining, only good from a consumer point of view or for endless scrolling of funny videos, or if you are one of those people who ‘refuse to download social media, it’s for children’ well, you are sadly mistaken. Social media usage is so high right now 45 million active users are in the UK as of 2020 comparing to the 68 billion est. population – that’s a LOT of users.* 

*https://tinyurl.com/yazq9pbw

When there were the days of analogue marketing which is still very much in use such as newpaper adverts and billboards these do come at a price. Whereas if you’re relatively new, a small business or just not yet established… Social Media is your FREE marketing tool and the possibilities are endless…  

Scrolling through phone

People are scrolling for hours everyday and if you get yourself active by sharing posts, making conversations and engaging, this widens your audience. If you aren’t sticking with the times, you do get left behind and in business the competition doesn’t stop for anyone!  

Talk to us

5. Talk to us! An email, message or chat is FREE.

The greatest gold saving of all.. Speak to us! We don’t bite! If you never ask, you’ll never know. Reach out to people, and reach out to us if you need to book a complimentary digital baseline review for your business, get some advice on where to start or if you want to speak to some passionate people that KNOW their stuff! We know that change management is difficult and that there is so much technical jargon floating around that not everyone understands… so we start off with those small ‘Quick Wins’ and work our way from there.  

We hope our gold savings will help you… follow us on our socials and chat to us! Or if you have an enquiry, contact us here.

Categories
Digital Process Improvement

6 important pain points you need to improve

Today’s post will be more manufacturing business focused – but this can be adapted to your workplace… The 6 important pain points in the process – what are they? 

Usually there are 6 areas within the business where there are pain points; process areas end to end that could be improved, adapted and transformed (remember those 8 wastes!) 

We are going to run you through our Process Map and identify those areas, why they are important to know, how these areas affect your interactions with potential or current clients and how to go about arranging your digital process improvement plan. 

Pain Points
Enquiry and quote logo

Enquiry & Quote – The start of your manufacturing process

This is a KEY process; if at this stage there are issues, customers will not stick around. You have all heard of first impressions right? Everyone wants it to be as easy as a click of the button and be able to enquire, contact and get quotes efficiently.

An example of a pain point:

Difficult to track a quote as it has only been recorded via paper/email and not inputted into a system; which leads to no organised turnaround of quotes and tracking how many are coming through.  

Order logo

Order – Where the magic begins…

This is where you need to be accurate as mistakes are easy to make here.. But at a cost if it messes up your inventory

An example of a pain point: 

Orders usually manually inputted which leads to no transparency and difficult to measure quote to order conversions. These figures and KPI’s are super important to gain for reports; to see where you need to improve and stay ahead of the competition.  

Production, maintenance, warehouse logo

Production, Maintenance and Warehouse Management –

You’ve got to this stage, this is where you start producing the product… You want as little mistakes and as accurate results as ever with fulfilling the orders.

An example of a pain point: 

A stand-alone production system which is difficult to track work in progress, machine performance, a time lag in monitoring stock levels if at all able to monitor them and a reactive maintenance system. All of these can cause a huge problem with the TIME waste, as well as not having visibility of what is happening at what time… if you don’t know what is going on it doesn’t put much faith in your customers! People will lean towards a efficiently run business rather than a poorly run one every day.  

Despatch logo

Despatch –

This is always an area of frustration and possible complaints from your end and the customer’s end throughout the processes. Especially if you are an SME, complaints is not a good thing of course… as it’s a known fact people look at reviews. What’s the first thing you do when you’re researching a product, restaurant or service? Read the reviews, or even sometimes read the bad ones. Getting your despatch process right could make or break a business.

An example of a pain point: 

Third party despatching with no transparency of goods tracking for you or your customer. If you don’t have visibility, this is very risky as this leaves you with no answers to give to your customer who’s receiving the product. If you DO have visibility of tracking but your customer doesn’t, at least you can contact and keep them updated, although this falls into the wastes of unneccessary contacting when an automated tracking system for both parties would be suffice.  

After service logo

After service –

Leading on from your despatch, these go hand in hand. Without providing your customer with tracking details, despatch notes or any other information this leads to the customer contacting you

An example of a pain point: 

Manual customer service processes with no information to provide to the customer. As discussed in Despatch, if your customer has no information then this leads to frustration, lack of trust and bad reviews. Also, the timing of after service is vital, nobody likes it when you get a response 7 days later – however if you are having to manually search and find a despatch this can be time consuming.  

Invoice and Payment logo

Invoice and Payment –

Finally the last step, sending out those invoices and receiving payments. This is detrimental to both parties as after all, the end goal is payment.

An example of a pain point:  

Manual processing of invoice and invoice queries, with pressure building up around month ends and end of tax years with cash often held up in order to cash process. Every process relies on the other and if we are waiting for invoices to be manually processes, payments will then get held and everything will be backlogged. A lot of processes lead back to time management, as once you adapt and improve your processes time is saved and your business runs smoothly.

Why over process?

Something like your invoices can be automated, saving your admin much more time and being able to complete other tasks. As well as that, it also ensures your customer you are on the ball, providing them with everything they need quickly.  

You can use this Process Map for your own business whether it is a steel factory or an online clothing store, but it’s important to review your processes regularly in time with current events.

Gather feedback from customers and even just the public on what they want to see, but also go one step ahead and provide a spectacular service which outshines your competitors. If YOU need some help identifying your business pain points, why not speak to us! We can organise a Digital Baseline Review and start your journey of digital process improvement to transform your business! 

Drop us a follow on LinkedIn to keep up to date with us, we post regularly – come and join the conversations!

Categories
Helpful Advice & Tips

7 motivating reasons to NOT give up hope

The way we do things, the way we work. The way we shop, the way we spend our time and money. The effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic is endless, but we are going to give you 7 motivating reasons to NOT give up hope.  

reasons to not give up hope

This year has been a whirlwind of emotions, thoughts and events that nobody ever would have thought of in 2019. The whole world’s lives has changed, forever.

1. The new year is coming… NEW YEAR NEW ME! 

Yes, this is a cliché we know, but maybe after 2020 you should make that 2021 resolution list. Whether it be a personal development or your workplace.. If you own a business why not make one about that? Get writing those lists! It’s a known fact that writing/typing your ideas down and emptying your head releases the weight – we aren’t meant to use our brains to store everything.. That’s what the cloud is made for! Whether you love to hand write your notes first or just straight onto your OneNote notebook, the first step to achieving goals is to lay everything out on the table. 

2. Anything is possible – and it’s okay to need a helping hand sometimes 

There are many of us, even the CEO’s and Managing Directors out there that can’t do everything by themselves; that’s okay!

A problem shared is a problem halved.  

(this post is going to be full of cheesy quotes, sorry!)

Once you have that resolutions list, take a look at what parts you know you can’t action yourself – find your contacts and reach out. Whether that’s family, friends, work colleagues or external businesses. Get that ‘HELP’ list going too, you’re probably going to need it. 

You got this!

3. Nobody is PERFECT…  

Acceptance to your ‘failures’ or ‘mistakes’ is KEY. In any development plan, there will be hurdles and lessons to learn but that’s where growth comes in. For many, this year has been a huge hit on small businesses and this can really deflate you to the point where you think ‘What’s the point in trying to recover?’ Everything feels like too much effort, because of the uncertainty of the year ahead. But think about it, If you can’t control it, don’t overthink about it! The pandemic or the year ahead isn’t in your hands; what’s going to happen will happen anyway.  

So create an overview of your 2020 for your business.. What worked well? What was lacking? How can you improve in 2021? Give yourself goals and something to look forward to! 

4. Set those Goals.. BE PROACTIVE! 

By actually setting goals, big or small you’re already taking steps to be proactive. ‘But, what is these goals I can’t achieve? What if 2021 closes my business?’  

We have to be realistic with our goals.. There is no harm in having huge dreams in the long run, but for the short term to actually BE proactive, you need to break it all down into small achievable aims. Get yourself a Calendar and organise when you want to achieve goals by. Give yourself a tiny little bit of pressure – some people work better knowing they have a deadline! But don’t be hard on yourself if you have to push it back.. They’re really guidelines.  

Research

5. RESEARCH… How can you adapt your business to survive? 

This can be if you own a business, or you work for one – everybody’s voice matters. You have your overview of the previous year; you can see roughly what was missing or what went wrong. Let’s say you’re a small business owner of a lovely vintage store on the high street, you’ve probably not been open for very long in 2020, and your footfall is decreasing each year. Don’t give up hope!

ADAPT to the now, listen to what’s happening around you. What could be a solution to this problem? Start an e-commerce site! Going online is relatively cheap these days, you don’t need to go all out. You could get your business on free platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, have a research of the trends and speak to people, younger people. They know what’s the deal on social media and what works… and do it! What do you have to lose?  

2021 could be the year that you become the hip vintage store on Instagram… 

6. CONTINUE the research and CALL THE EXPERTS 

There are many business consultants out there for the business owners, or if you work for one and you’d like to pitch an idea, pitch it! Think about how you are going to come across, as you don’t want to seem like you’re undermining your MD. But, everyone has a valid voice and you may just have a point that could save a business.  

If you’re the business owner, continue your research a little more into how you need to adapt. But once it get’s past a point you understand, find an expert! There are many who will just give advice, who will help with change management, or will only offer a technical solution. But not every development plan has to cost £££ so get a few opinions, see who identifies areas of opportunity within your business and see who is the right fit for you. 

7. Lastly, DON’T GIVE UP!  

Now or Never

Although this is in the title, it’s very valid. You will have moments that you will feel like giving up, that there is no hope, but start off with the above tips… get that motivation back and work with it! Adapt, as change is inevitable after 2020. Change is necessary to continue your growth. Don’t be scared of it, be excited, be motivated, be encouraged to stay in the competition and build your business to be on top of the game. There is nothing more inspirational than building from the bottom to the top!  

And finally, contact a business consultant who is right for you, HanaTech are a digital process improvement consultancy supporting the Manufacturing Industry, One Quick Win at a Time! 

We hope you enjoyed our motivating reasons to NOT give up hope!

Categories
Digital Process Improvement

8 tough, but actionable wastes in your business

You know that you have some problem areas within your business, but you’re not sure where and how to even start dissecting each sector of processes… So we are going to show you 8 tough, but actionable wastes in your business:

What ARE the 8 WASTES and why are they important to know about? 

Sometimes you see technical jargon of an area that you don’t specialise in and it just doesn’t interest you. Your area is admin, why do you need to know about anything else? Or your area is in manufacturing, why do you need to know about all the wordy stuff? 

There are good reasons to know about the 8 wastes in your business..

8 wastes in your business

WHAT DO WE MEAN when we talk about 8 wastes? 

These are the areas of your business that all fit together for it to work; we focus on the Manufacturing Industry but this can be applied to many other businesses with some tweaking. These 8 areas are where you will find unnecessary processes that could either be dumped, tweaked or digitally improved to save TIME, MONEY, EFFORTS, and improve efficiency. The 8 wastes very much fits with Time Management as we mentioned in our previous blog post – the more processes you transform and improve, the more time you will gain back and so on so forth.  

Each part of a digital process improvement plan works with the other; by identifying if anything fits into the 8 wastes in your business. This then gives you problems to solve, to call in an expert, and then time manage until your business is on top of the competitive world. 

Transportation

TRANSPORTATION – Are there unnecessary movements happening? Are there more efficient ways to complete this? Can you give more transparency to your customer waiting on your transportation? Could you bulk deliveries together through a digital system which updates and knows when deliveries are leaving/arriving at your warehouse? The possibilities are endless… 

Inventory

INVENTORY – Are you over/under ordering stock and not using it? If that is the case, could you move your inventory online to gain a much better overall view of what is happening within your inventory and store all your data digitally? Inventories are a HUGELY important part of a business, your stock checks are something you need to keep records of and access information at ease. 

Motion

MOTION – Are there unnecessary movements within your business? Could time, and physical power be saved?  

Time

WAITING – This falls into time management; are there processes within ANY sector of your business, the offices, the shop floor, the factory where TIME is wasted by waiting for something? Could time be managed better and processed organised to be automated, to have multiple things running so you aren’t waiting around for one thing to finish before you start another? 

Over Processing

OVER PROCESSING – Again, this will work for different kinds of businesses, but are you over processing a job that actually doesn’t need that level of quality? For example in the office, are you hand writing invoices when you could have them automatically produced and sent out with the touch of a button? This doesn’t mean that you are selling ‘under quality’ products, this just means that not every job will necessarily need a rolls royce to transport when a ford fiesta will work just fine.. Over processing also causes loss of money, time and falls into other wastes. 

Over Production

OVER PRODUCTION – Are you aware of each step in the process of your business and what goes after the other? Are some things happening too early? Is production happening more than it needs to be?  

Defects

DEFECTS – Are mistakes being made because of processes not working together efficiently? We all know what defects mean.. Customer complaints, loss of trade and money, loss of time having to rework… Loss of inventory Defects are the BANE of a business’s life… We ALL want to avoid this! 

Skills

SKILLS – Are there some processes which are manual based that could be transformed to digital/automated to then save TIME to utilise an employee’s hard earned knowledge and skills elsewhere? We all have had a moment in time where we feel our talents and skills are being underutilised.. And what a shame that is! Utilising skills could mean new intelligent ideas, new ways of working. People’s voices should be heard! 

NOW I KNOW the 8 wastes… WHAT DO I DO NOW? 

You go through your workplace.. Analyse what processes could be changed and transformed…  

A digital process improvement plan! But remember, you don’t have to do this all alone – ask an expert to help you! Business consultants, project/ operations managements, and process solutions are all the key factors to making an improvement plan. These things take time, it’s best to work in small chunks and go one solution at a time. Although it may seem a long, mundane thing to do.. You learn a lot about your business that you may not have known.. And who doesn’t want to better their selves? There is always something to gain out of an improvement plan… TIME. MONEY. A better running business giving customer more transparency means better connections, testimonials and feedback.  

Remember the whole ‘NEW YEAR NEW ME’? Maybe 2021 could be that year.. 

To put words into action. Many businesses have suffered during the 2020 pandemic and need to rethink their strategies, to adapt to the ever changing digital world. The public expect more from businesses because of the incline in technology and how quick it is to access information – people want that in their work lives too.  

Identify your wastes.. Or come to us where we can identify for you to get your digital process improvement plan! Keep up to date with our blog posts by following us on LinkedIn, or more below…