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  Businesses operating within the Nigerian domain are often caught between rising production costs on one hand, and a lack of enthusiasm on the part of their customers to pay higher prices for their products. Such businesses have to find a way to maintain their prices at levels that won’t scare buyers away, and also keep operating margins healthy.
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If you’re an entrepreneur and your venture is having to deal with the situation we’ve described above, you’ll find this article useful. What follows is a guide to producing high-quality products while keeping costs in check.

Embrace Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is basically about minimizing waste in production while maximizing productivity. One component of this strategy is finding and eliminating steps in the production process that don’t add value to the overall product. The other is continuous improvement, which comes down to regularly assessing and refining processes to enhance efficiency and quality.

Supplier Relationship Management

If you maintain a strong relationship with your vendors, you’ll be able to secure bulk discounts from them, especially for raw materials. You’ll be purchasing vital stock in larger quantities at better rates than what the markets typically offer. They may even suggest ways to utilize their supplies to improve the quality of your output while reducing the cost of making it.

Cross-Training Employees

Cross-training means training your employees to understand multiple parts of the production process. When they become knowledgeable about aspects of production other than their primary roles, they’ll be able to fill in for absent colleagues and shrink the cost of replacing them. What’s more, they may offer diverse viewpoints, leading to process innovations that save you a fair bit of money.
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Regular Maintenance

While it seems counter-intuitive regarding costs, regularly maintaining equipment ensures it runs efficiently, produces consistent quality, and prevents costly breakdowns. Trying to get the most out of machinery that’s not in optimal condition just to save cost may wind up gobbling up more money, typically in repair costs (when it eventually breaks down) and production inefficiencies.

Optimize Design for Manufacturability

Before production, ensure your product design is simple to produce with existing tools, uses materials efficiently, and takes fewer assembly steps. These points contribute significantly to the final cost of making the items you’ll sell.

Implement a Quality Management System (QMS)

You must have a Quality Management System in place. It’s a set of rules that lay out how your business should operate, especially concerning its production processes. The objective for which a QMS is set up is to guarantee that output always remains of high quality. Such a system helps to standardize processes and reduce wastage and defects.

Rethink Packaging

A lot of costs can be hidden in packaging. If that’s the case at your business, you’ll save a good deal of money by making your packaging efficient, recyclable, and minimalistic. A conscious move in this direction will enable you to reduce materials used in packaging, and therefore lower shipping costs due to reduced weight or size.
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Adopt a Zero-Defects Mentality

Aim to produce every product correctly the first time. It’s not the easiest of measures to take, but if you have a system in place that allows you to fashion each product the right way at the initial attempt, you’ll reduce wastage, returns, and reworks—all of which increase the cost.

Final Words

Balancing product quality with costs is both an art and a science. Leverage the strategies we’ve talked about here and you’ll reach the sweet spot in-between. Your business will remain competitive, meet customer expectations, and maintain profitability. Featured Image Source: Marketin91
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This article was first published on 18th August 2023 and updated on August 20th, 2023 at 10:14 pm


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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