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Five ways to make your business more productive – according to the experts

PUBLISHED: 17:01 14 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:40 14 August 2018

Vanilla Electronics is agile in its business processes, which the organisers of East Anglia's new productivity centre say is one key to a more productive operation. Picture: Dave Guttridge

Vanilla Electronics is agile in its business processes, which the organisers of East Anglia's new productivity centre say is one key to a more productive operation. Picture: Dave Guttridge

Dave Guttridge The Photographic

The team behind East Anglia’s first productivity centre explain the key traits of a productive business.

Lean: Improving your processes with the goal of perfecting basic business activities, increasing efficiency, and reducing waste. Lean is a big stage in itself looking at safety, hygiene, waste, stock and scheduling using tools such as SMED, 8S, and MRP systems.

Agile: Shifting your processes towards a demand-driven model that can adapt quickly to change using management methodologies such as Scrum and Sprints to segment your work flow, and help you respond to customers’ changing demands.

Digitisation: Using digital tools to simplify processes, connect devices, and collect data to provide more insight and control. A simple way to digitise is to add sensors to your processes and install systems which can analyse the data collected to predict and manage any barriers.

Automation: Integrating robotics and computer control into your processes to eliminate human error, fine-tune processes, and run operations 24/7. You could start with CNC machines, to simple packing robots, and then move up to welding and additive manufacturing robots.

Autonomous: Although this sounds similar to automation, it is on another level. Once at this stage you can start the development of narrow AI to automate decision-making, resulting in more precise and factual decisions being made in real time, in milliseconds.

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