Manufacturers are faced with many obstacles to reduce costs, increase efficiencies and improve top-line results. Labor, material costs, transportation, time to market, distribution, customer delivery, ecommerce presence, mobility, new manufacturing techniques and materials emerge, equipment efficiency (equipment utilization), IoT, omni-channel presence are all areas that have changed and customers expect manufacturers to adapt to accommodate changing consumer preferences.
While many manufacturers follow the Lean and/or Agile manufacturing methodologies which are efficient have started to lose its lustre and inefficiencies once gained. No only must these organizations adapt to the changing landscape but find a way to do what they are doing or making better than what has brought them there in the first place.
Manufacturing techniques that have worked previously have become outdated. These companies are looking for ways to refresh their manufacturing techniques without major changes to its core business. Change for employees to relearn is also difficult and may overwhelm some employees if techniques or systems become too advanced too quickly and lack of employee training becomes another point of risk which may further complicate any possible changes that may be required.
Organizations can re-examine current procedures to change manufacturing techniques to address some of these changes. When reassessing procedures and techniques organizations should look to align how technology can maximize throughputs and increase inefficiencies. Changes in business process, manufacturing techniques, new machinery for automation purposes and increased throughputs, new materials (changing alloys, plastics, steel etc.), 3D printing (additive manufacturing), systems that orchestrate these many changes and assists in further automations. Revisiting your current techniques and processes may just require a minute tweak that results in large gains. When people say baby steps they mean a little bit at a time will have a large impact on your overall process. You may not need to reinvent the wheel but maybe just change the tires to maximize operational efficiencies.
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