Key Factors in Successful Plant Management

Overseeing the maintenance and management of a facility or production operation can be a challenge. At MOBIUS CONNECT, we believe plant operations, including plant management, should not reflect an every-man-is- an-island culture. Professionals that can work worlds away and still have the ability to learn from each other is a novel concept that we now can execute. 

With small steps, easy connectivity, and improved leadership can help accelerate the advancement of manufacturing and technology into the next industrial revolution. That’s why we asked some of those leaders what key factors contributed to successful plant management. 

Plant management can be taught, though a great majority of what makes the difference between standard plant management and successful plant management is experience and education. 

The social platform for plant industry professionals, MOBIUS CONNECT, was created to help make educational resources and lessons that can only come from experience more accessible and easily shareable. 

whether you’re a well-seasoned plant manager, or just starting, MOBIUS CONNECT is here to help with handling the diverse duties of managing and maintaining your plant.  

What are the Responsibilities of a Plant Manager?

A plant manager is responsible for meeting quotas, standards, and benchmarks and continuously improving the plant's performance, maintenance effectiveness, and production quality. 

A plant manager is also tasked with being the leader of their facility; responsible for employee/personnel matters such as retention, hiring/firing, training, and certification. These two areas of authority come together to create a third avenue of management - the final word of safety and security, operational equipment effectiveness (OEE), and manufacturing execution systems (MES) across the entire enterprise. 

9 Key Factors in Successful Plant Management

1. Make Safety a Part of Your Daily Culture

Making safety a priority is crucial for every aspect of your plant’s productivity. By putting safety standards at the forefront of everyone’s mind, it can help to avoid critical malfunctions and failures, and even save lives. 

Safety can often be taken for granted until a mishap occurs, and unfortunately, some employees may try to skirt around safety guidelines. Managers need to lead by example and perform regular audits of Lock Out – Tag Out and PPE compliance. They should also reinforce and celebrate full compliance over (x) time. 

By creating a proactive environment you can avoid accidents and work-time loss. When employees are encouraged to know the standards and report potentially hazardous situations it makes the environment safer for everyone involved. 

Safety should not be the sole responsibility of the plant manager, it’s a part of everyone’s job. However, it is up to the plant manager and other leaders to promote safety as a part of your culture. Ensure that safety is not only talked about during training and create a work environment that puts safety first.

2. Develop Your Training to Ensure Conformity

The entire organization must be adequately trained in understanding quality and defect elimination of all types. For example, training your machine operators about questionable quality, safety, performance events that would require them to stop the machine. 

It’s also crucial to ensure your entire staff is trained for an audit. To best prepare, everyone should know how to create reports showing the maintenance work performed on assets, ensuring traceable conformity, and minimizing the risk of penalties.

3. Have Streamlined Processes for Optimal Productivity

In terms of having up to date information on equipment performance, every engineer, production supervisor, and maintenance supervisor should have the ability to monitor the current state of an asset at any time.

Of course, handheld units are important for maintenance technicians to keep track of routine maintenance, access real-time data, check inventory, and check on future work orders. But putting this technology in the hands of lead operators is essential as well. If more staff have this technology, machine issues can be reported quickly and efficiently. 

4. Review the Books Regularly and Keep Costs Low

Many plants focus on the cost of maintenance as this often is the largest and essential piece of the spending. However, maintenance is only one facet of overall operating costs. Quality assurance, safety, engineering, management, utilities, shipping, receiving, and inventory are all overhead as well. Building an active budget is an effective way to improve your plant’s competitiveness and profitability.

5. Learn To Delegate And Create More Leaders

Team management is an important skill for any leadership position. You don’t need to handle every task alone. You can delegate other administrators and members of your staff to help with management tasks. 

You can also outsource to help with shipping and receiving, keep up with production demand, and manage the staffing. For example, establishing onsite management can improve the accountability of your employees. This frees up your agenda to handle other tasks that need your direct administration such as addressing service concerns. 

6. Practice Good Housekeeping to Create a Comfortable Environment for Your Employees

Maintaining break rooms, restrooms, and offices are just as important as maintaining the production floor. Applying sustainable housekeeping practices within your plant can help make employees feel comfortable when enjoying their meals and breaks, allowing them to get the recharge they need to get back to work. Good housekeeping practices also boost employee morale and create a safer environment.

7. Get Rid of Paper Record-Keeping and Update to Hi-Tech Systems

Paper trails can get lost, ruined, overlooked, and misplaced. Update your systems to digital records to make it easier for you and your staff when it comes time to check inspection dates, training sessions, and completed work orders. 

You can customize your record system to be accessed at the plant level, as well as in the corporate office. Digital systems also make it easy to prepare for inspections and identify areas in need of improvement. Upgrading to digital systems provides plant transparency and makes tasks clear. 

With digitized systems, you can also automate work orders and regularly scheduled tasks. When you set up automated alerts for regularly scheduled tasks it can reduce the chances of missing important deadlines and work orders. Staff can utilize desktop devices, smartphones, and tablets as the point of access, so orders and tasks are always easily accessible and viewable.

Even if you already have a state-of-the-art system in place, you may need to have training sessions for your staff to ensure they’re familiar with all of the options available to them. to speed with your current capabilities. With well-trained employees, up-to-date technological systems, and easy access to them you provide the tools for the successful integration of innovation into your facility and processes.

8. Implement Your Best Practices Across All Facilities.

It’s not uncommon for a plant manager to have multiple locations to manage. It can be difficult to ensure that they’re all operating at the same level of efficiency and productivity. As each location is unique, you may have to adapt certain services to each facility. By establishing best practices at the corporate and production floor level, you can ensure that all of your facilities are operating according to industry and company standards.

9. Find Ways to Improve Your Plant’s Sustainability 

More and more people are recognizing environmental impact as a concern for businesses big and small. It can require specialized equipment and processes to maintain plant effectiveness while taking steps toward sustainability.

Energy efficiency is a fairly quick and simple solution to improving your plant’s sustainability, plus it can improve your operating costs over time. One of the ways you can start is by going digital. This can help reduce the amount of paper and printing used by your facility. Another fairly simple sustainability solution is to recycle. 

MOBIUS CONNECT Is Connecting Industrial Professionals at Every Level

Every plant is unique, just as every plant manager is unique. There may not be one process or system that works for all plants across the board, but all plants aim on improving quality assurance, facility effectiveness, and cost-efficiency.

For a facility to perform at its peak, it requires a solid leader that stays on top of industry duties critical systems, repair tasks, cleaning and housekeeping responsibilities, business support and security services, and health and environmental concerns. With MOBIUS CONNECT, plant managers don’t need to rely solely on their own expertise. They can connect with other industry leaders that have years of experience in various aspects of management and business growth.

MOBIUS CONNECT is a social platform made specifically for professionals and practitioners in the industrial machinery fields. This app provides plant employees of every level to connect, share, and discuss common concerns within their field, as well as individual experiences, tips, and lessons. Members of the MOBIUS CONNECT app can find forums, videos, webinars, articles, live feeds, as well as the latest industry news and developments.

Signing up for MOBIUS CONNECT is easy and free. It can be a great asset for every industry practitioner from the floor to the corporate offices. The MOBIUS CONNECT app has connected plant industry professionals across the world, helping to advance innovation and education in 121 countries. MOBIUS CONNECT is now available for desktop and mobile devices.

 You can download the MOBIUS CONNECT app from Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Create your account today by downloading the app or visiting https://mobiusconnect.com/signup

If you’d like to learn more about the MOBIUS CONNECT social platform, visit our site at https://mobiusconnect.com. You can learn more about Mobius Institute, our training programs, conferences, and more at https://www.mobiusinstitute.com

Back to Blog

Related Articles

Condition Based Monitoring: Why It's Important

Condition-based monitoring (CBM) is the backbone for plant reliability, maintenance, and...

MOBIUS CONNECT Launches Platform for CBM and Reliability Professionals

MOBIUS CONNECT® launches an interactive, community-based web platform and mobile app for condition...

Building Reliability Monitoring & Asset Management for Your Organization

When starting your career in the industrial plant maintenance field, coming across terms such as...