How to make more money from your existing factory set-up

Effective industrial ventilation and industrial recycling can bring cost efficiencies and productivity improvements. The challenge though is how to make it happen when you are too busy to down tools in your business. In this blog post I offer a checklist that will highlight ways to be a more Progressive, Productive and Profitable business.

Have you have heard the expression ‘working smart’? You might even be sick of the sound of it because you know the reality of a busy workshop or factory. It need not be hard though. It takes some planning and also an understanding of where technology meets the skills of your team and the operational demands of your machinery.

Treat it like a sports car!

OK so you’ll just have to pretend that your shredder, briquette press or dust vacuum is a sports car for now but bear with me. You should understand how it works, what any strange noises mean, what flashing lights mean, what you can put in the tank and what you can’t and have it regularly serviced to keep it in the best condition and running well.

Also, think about this. As much as you love your 18 year-old nephew, you wouldn’t let him drive your beloved car without any insurance or before passing his test would you? Goes without saying that ‘no’ would be the answer and you should have this in mind when a shredder is installed and a non-trained operator is going to be working it on a daily basis. If an operator isn’t trained it can make insurance null and void which could leave you with a very hefty sum to pay and even worse, a seriously injured member of staff.

Outperforming your competitors

Small gains make a big difference. When you make your business more efficient then it impacts your price, customer satisfaction and industry reputation. Respecting all three of these has become vital. The internet has created such a level playing field around price that either you match your competitors or you find a way to differentiate and offer something more. The danger is getting pulled into a commodity price war. This is no good for your business and we’ve seen it in our clients. Thankfully though customer experience – even staff satisfaction – has become something you can promote and use to your advantage. If you can motivate staff to do the best they can and love the tools they work with and get to know them inside out, this will definitely put you ahead of the game.

Identifying ways to improve your business

These factors have affected Fercell. We have to be price conscious but we also looked at how we could provide an even better service. It required us to think about what our clients need to ‘work smarter’. To be honest that has made realise we don’t talk enough about the work that goes into servicing our clients. It is all too easy to forget that what we do as second nature is remarkable and of value to others.

Looking at how you can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your factory we have identified three areas to focus on. Of course it means having the best technology but it’s about getting the most from it. We’ve called it the “3 Ps”. It’s about being Progressive, Productive and Profitable.

Everything that a business would hope to be in order to be the best comes from these three areas. How do you stop doing what you’ve always done though? Read on for what the 3 Ps mean for your business.

  • Progressive –   Technology moves so fast these days and slight adjustments can make a big difference. If you knew that by changing a piece of machinery you could double your factory’s output you’d seriously consider a new purchase the same day. But let’s say you’re getting bogged down with the day-to-day running of the business and you’ve got a stressed out worker with a broken briquette press because he over-loaded it while trying to do his job quicker, how will you ever find time to keep up-to-date with this new tech? It’s a snowball effect, one problem is leading into another and having a knock on effect.
  • Start right at the bottom, provide training to staff to pick up issues, book regular services and routine maintenance on machinery and systems and you’ll have time to read those newsletters piling up in your inbox instead of hitting delete or browse some magazines or social media, both business and personal!
  • Productive – Communication is key, get building those relationships. Get in touch with your suppliers, drop them an email once a month or ask your operations manager to give them a quick buzz. Our operations manager diarises this, she asks what the latest models of extraction or size-reduction machinery are, if there are any sales or price drops and what may soon be discontinued.  Some of our closest suppliers rings us now when a new model is in stock and they give us a great price so it’s definitely worth being organised about. This of course then feeds into our third P, if you can save money on consumables, bearings, filters, fans, it all adds up and can be added back to your bottom line.
  • Profitable – Recycling isn’t just about the good it does for the environment, although of course this is a huge motivator.  These raw materials can also make money for your business.  It would feel great wouldn’t it! If you knew that you were putting revenue back into your bottom line and doing the best for environment you’d say ‘sign me up’ immediately I’m guessing.
  • There are a few little things you can do here and there if you haven’t quite got the time to organise bagging recycled materials, transportation and selling it all quite yet. That’s something you can work up to rather than handing it all over to a recycling company who reap the benefits.
  • One thing you may not know is if you turn your rotor knives on your shredder just before they are worn you can more than double their life. If you don’t rotate the four sides you aren’t making the most of them and they’ll need changing within a year. Flat, dull blunt knives mean they start working like a hammer and the efficiency is gone.
  • The same principle can be applied to ventilation systems. Clogged filters can slow down dust and fume extraction and this not only slows down processes but it can be harmful to employees’ health. If your staff can do quick sense checks each week to ensure blockages aren’t apparent, efficiency within the business will never be lost. These are all things that you probably already know but haven’t had the time to think about or haven’t passed onto your team yet. Be sure to fire off some quick emails while you can and the three Ps will start to fall into place.

Below are a few questions which will help you to think about changes in your business relating to the 3 Ps mentioned above that you would like to make to help you work smarter in 2018.

  • Have your staff had training on their shredding or other recycling or ventilation machinery and equipment in the last year?
  • Have you got an annual service booked in for your machinery?
  • Would you like a few health-check pointers so you can see if you need a full service or assessment?

If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions we are confident we can help your business to become more progressive, productive and profitable. We offer service plans for the year so you don’t have to worry about booking in when you need us right away.

Email us at and ask more about our recycling or ventilation service plans and we will be happy to explain how they work and the benefits they can offer your business.

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