Q. What areas do manufacturers need to focus on for manufacturing success?
A. Manufacturers need to focus on:
- Understanding their customer requirements
- Having a clear vision for how to compete in each market
- Developing a mind set of continuous improvement in all areas
Q. How can manufacturers ensure they are prepared and ready for the digital future?
A. Businesses need to:
- Create clear strategies, to ensure they can compete, innovate and invest
- Understand what the opportunities are in the digital future
- See what others are doing in similar and different industries
- Choose the tools that support their business strategy and competitiveness
Q. What do businesses need to do to remain competitive?
A. Businesses cannot afford to stand still, especially given that according to our fact card, UK businesses are already falling behind our international competitors. If we as manufacturers don’t start to understand the impacts of the 4th Industrial Revolution and develop our operations to ensure we are able to compete effectively, we run the risk of falling even further behind.
Q. What programmes and initiatives could businesses put in place to ensure efficient operations?
A. There are a number of programmes and initiatives that business should focus on for better efficiencies. These include:
- Continuous improvement programmes
- Lean initiatives to improve efficiencies and processes
- Development of your people to improve productivity
- Leadership development to drive improvement
- Supply chain effectiveness and performance
- Broader business strategy planning
Q. How would a manufacturing business ensure they can innovate to ensure a secure and productive future?
A. Innovation most often stems from growth, so businesses should be encouraged to look at what opportunities exist for future growth. They should also plan strategies with the aim of investing any costs savings into developing their future business with innovation in mind. To do this, organisations need to embed lean programmes to ensure they are running at optimal efficiency, saving money and avoiding unnecessary waste across operations and supply chain. They should also develop and manage their workforce to perform effectively, efficiently and productively.