Growing an engineering business is about continuous improvement. There’s a lot to get right, but when you do, the sky’s the limit. Let’s find out more.
If you stand still, you get left behind. Engineering is a competitive industry and if you’re flying high, there will surely be competitors lining up to knock you down. The key to consistent success is always to be improving. In this article, we’ll look at the three components of success in engineering. If you can always look to make gains in these areas, you create a cycle of continuous improvement, and you set your business up to win.
1 – People
Enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff are the key ingredient to any successful engineering business. When you invest in good people and their training, you actually invest in your company’s success.
Consistent upskilling of your people is essential in engineering as best practices, techniques and tools evolve at a breakneck pace. Bring in external trainers who are up-to-date with industry developments rather than rely on internal training.
Then always look to improve. Perform an annual review of staff training requirements and where you can make changes for the better. For example, examine how you induct new team members and where you could be faster and more effective.
2 – Process
If people are the who, process is the how. The most important thing is that your engineers have a sound process to follow. It ensures quality and that new team members can easily pick up how things are done in your company. However, you should always try to make your process better. Ask yourself:
- When did you last review procedures in your Drawing Office?
- Do your engineers adhere to the process?
- Is your process easy to follow?
- Is your process outdated? – If a large proportion of your process is still paper-based, it’s probably not fit for purpose anymore
- Are your processes automated or mandraulic (labour-intensive)?
The answers to these questions will steer you in the right direction.
3 – Technology
In a modern engineering company, having the right technology is essential for success. The challenge is that the world of tech moves so fast. You have to have systems in place that monitor how well your tech works and what is available that could make things even better.
Questions to ask include:
- Are you working with the best tech tools?
- Does your tech support your process?
- Is your software stack optimised?
- When did you last review or update your software versions? Are you using outdated solutions?
- How much time do you spend waiting for IT functions?
The improvement cycle
The great thing is once you start making gains in one area, they feed into each other until you create a cycle of constant improvement. For example, if you train your people on how to identify areas to improve, they make enhancements to your processes, which requires new tech. Having new tech requires more training, and the cycle continues. When this happens, success is assured.