Manufacturing has changed rapidly in the last 200 years. Technology such as the internet have pushed the need for constant innovation as the fifth dimension to success. No longer can factories and warehouses apply a one size fits all as flexibility has become king. Customers want variety, they want it quickly, on time as promised, correct and error free and anything else is unacceptable. If you don't get it right first time, the unforgiving nature of customer demands, means you may not get a shot next time around.
Customers Demand Variety, Speed and Reliability
Customers want a varied and exciting choice on all fronts. Indeed in todays disposable world, adapting to often conflicting requirements is truly difficult and operationally not cost effective. Manufacturing needs to get close enough to their customers so that they can understand and fulfil customer demands. Sometimes customers compromise and those compromises are your trade-offs.
4 Key Areas in Developing Operational Excellence
Operational excellence means developing internal and external criteria through which you survive, and more so, make a profit. This defines your operational strategy which in turn is the indicator driving operational excellence and efficiency. No point polishing a product that a customer never cares about or even sees.
Manufacturing needs to be linked to its supply chains and its new product and process innovations.
- Constantly communicating with customers and suppliers
- Prioritising new product development, especially in a global economy which is highly volatile and constantly re-shaped by forever changing needs
- Tight Stock Control. Our connected economy links a changeover on the line to the availability and level of stock we hold to ensure a customer is fulfilled
- Investment in tools and machinery. Machine breakdowns, wear and tear and lack of investment can lead to delays that make customers just decide that they will go elsewhere
Nothing is isolated and yet the barriers and the proverbial brick walls of our functional organisations have yet to acknowledge that process and not function is the answer.