Optimization is used to enhance a process to make it better. These enhanced processes normally translate directly to dollars in the form of reduced scrap waste, reduced labor cost, and improved quality. Optimization also means better use of time and resources and better decisions. You cannot have a lean strategy without considering optimization in the process. And you cannot have an efficient business without using process improvement optimization to help reduce these inefficiencies.
Let's quickly look at a couple ways optimization can help. The obvious one is scrap waste reduction. If you are purchasing raw material, the scrap material you throw away that you cannot use translates to lost money. These materials can be glass, vinyl, oil, water, sheets of paper, rolls of film, silicon circuit boards, etc. Optimization would help you utilize the material better so that you do not throw as much material away as you normally would.
It does this by trying to find a better way to utilize that raw material by means of changing the order you process items, monitoring for excess usage, etc. If you go through an average 50 sheets of raw material a day, optimization will try to reduce that number. It will try to use the material better so maybe you utilize only 47 sheets. That translates to saved money by reducing your material costs.
Optimization is not just limited to lean manufacturing or material optimization. You could be a doctor's office that can only take 8 patients an hour. By analyzing your process and optimizing exam room utilization, you may discover that you can increase to 10 patients an hour. This process improvement can be discovered by optimizing the amount of time it takes for an exam room to be sanitized and ready for the next patient. Therefore allowing 2 more patients an hour which translates directly to more revenue.
If you haven't considered how optimization can help your business with saving dollars, then now is the time to consider it. We all have areas we can improve. Often, just optimizing a few of our processes can translate to real savings. These optimization steps always help businesses, whether it is in a struggling time or a prosperous time, optimization will always help your bottom line. There is no reason to wait.
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