3 Quick Steps to Make Your Electronics Business Run More Smoothly

Many small scale tech businesses are going through tough times. What seemed like dream contracts with bigger companies may have become a very serious problem. For instance, if you are a small facility making boards for the aerospace industry, the current crisis will see a sudden drop in demand.

When this happens, and until flights become as commonplace as they once were, you’re going to have to find ways of cutting costs to keep afloat. Here are some steps that can help your business run more smoothly, decrease waste, and save money on overheads and materials:

#1 Do more things manually

This might seem like an odd place to start, as you can usually make things run more efficiently by automating them. However, this is one occasion where the opposite might be the better option. Machines tend to be big and expensive to run, and relying on them can be even more expensive if they break down.

Due to the drop-off in work, you will have some operators with time on their hands. It might be worth shutting the machine down and having the task done manually. It won’t work everywhere, but some operations like soldering can often be done to a better standard by hand than by a machine.

#2 Roving inspections

A decrease in the number of rejects will save on rework and, ultimately, scrap. Getting jobs done by a machine in batches is a good idea when you are relying on volume, but when you are trying to run with the minimum of waste, a batch of rejects can be a real problem. Completing some processes by hand should decrease the number of rejects when speed is not an issue.

In-process inspection can also save money and components being scrapped. For instance, checking the rest of a board before the most expensive components are added can save it from being rejected at a later operation after all of the extra time and money has been invested in it. It also cuts down on the wastage of your most expensive components.

#3 Source your materials efficiently

Instead of spending time sourcing from several different suppliers, using a bespoke search engine for electronic components like Octopart.com can save time and money when finding suppliers for new materials. It could also be used for comparing prices and quality as part of your new cost-saving exercise.

Your materials are usually your greatest business expense (labor being the second), so even small saving here can have a massive knock-on effect when it comes to making a difference to your bottom line. Also, sourcing them using a single tool can save on the time and effort your purchasing staff spends trying to find quality components within a new lower budget.

These are by no means the only ways to make your business run more efficiently but, without laying off large parts of a workforce that you’ll probably need as soon as the crisis is over, these could offer a possible solution. 

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