Satisfying the customer orders in a reasonable time is essential, but it is also important for York Container to track the efficiency of the machinery in the plant. The largest investment that a manufacturer makes is usually in the equipment in the plant; therefore, it is important that the firm get exactly what it paid for. York Container has many state-of-the-art machines, varying in capabilities that were large investments. For every machine, output is recorded into a computer database, along with the amount of jobs completed, materials used, operating time, and set-up time. Every four weeks, these numbers are totaled in order to find the three-month, six-month, and yearly average for the throughput for a particular piece of equipment. This allows York Container to see how much is being produced and how efficient a particular machine is. (A copy of this for an individual machine is available for reference in Appendix A)
When all of the machines are working efficiently is information is being shared without interruption, a manufacturer can meet the demand of its customers with ease. York Container generally operates at about 85% capacity to meet demand during the majority of the year. Steve Tansey, York Container’s Chief Operating Officer, stated that they try to maintain this level of capacity because they are able to ensure the quality that goes into every product. When production increases, it requires more workers to maintain the high level of quality that York Container is well known. Although the plant is not running at full capacity, it is still producing efficiently with little waste in the process.