In 2019, the UK became the first country in the world to commit to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Since then, several other countries have followed suit, while proposed legislation is in the pipeline in plenty more. That means that modernising your manufacturing department to make it more sustainable will soon become a matter of compliance for firms operating all over the world.
However, there are plenty of other reasons why it makes sense to improve the environmental credentials of your business. Quite aside from the reputational boost that you’ll achieve among an increasingly environmentally minded consumer base, there are also significant financial savings to be made. With that in mind, here are a handful of ways in which you can incorporate smart software to enhance the sustainability of your manufacturing department going forwards.
Optimise use of raw materials
There’s nothing worse than accepting an order for a product, then finding out that you can’t fulfill it due to a lack of raw materials – or worse still, that the stock in your warehouse has now become unusable due to languishing unnoticed for too long. This is disastrous enough for your company’s public image (unfulfilled or delayed orders are anathema to building consumer trust), but can also cause unnecessary wastage and excessive consumption of natural resources, as well.
Fortunately, there is a better way. By taking advantage of the most sophisticated material requirements planning software, you can keep tabs on what’s available in your warehouse without lifting a finger. Stock levels can even be automatically correlated against incoming orders, allowing you to see at a glance whether you need to order in more resources while setting thresholds can trigger automatic reminders when supplies run low.
The amount of energy that is consumed to construct even the most basic of consumer goods should not be underestimated. In fact, it’s estimated that energy bills can account for up to a fifth of the overall operational costs of a manufacturing firm, which amounts to a significant sum over the course of a year’s work.
With that in mind, enhancing the energy efficiency of your organisation is a key method of improving its sustainability credentials and saving it vast sums of money in the process. One way to do this is by placing smart-enabled sensors around your place of business to ensure that energy is not being needlessly consumed when areas are not occupied by your staff, as well as incorporating energy-efficient hardware into your shop floor where possible.
In today’s constantly connected world, there’s simply no excuse for not taking advantage of the digital tools at your disposal. Whether it’s holding a meeting with interested stakeholders or organising work teams to collaborate on a specific project, the days of physical record-taking and in-person meetings are numbered.
Transitioning to digital infrastructure for all correspondence and collaboration is seen as a high priority by 88% of manufacturing firms over the coming years, according to research carried out by consultancy firm Deloitte. Not only will the move facilitate faster coordination of projects and expedite productivity, but also garner huge environmental savings in terms of the reduced consumption of fuel, paper, and other resources.
Smart manufacturing makes perfect sense for your enterprise – and for the planet. Implement sustainable practices now to avoid falling afoul of legislation and falling behind the competition.