Q. What areas do manufacturers need to focus on for manufacturing success?
A. There are three key areas that manufacturers need to focus on for success. These are:
- Skills development remains a crucial area for manufacturers, and this is particularly true in the face of the next industrial revolution. We need to remain productive and compete and as such, manufacturers need to ensure they have a rich talent culture and that their organisations are arranged in a way that allows talent to flourish and develop effectively in the emerging digital manufacturing context.
- We also need to attract the right talent. Recruiting new talent plays a big part here, but don’t overlook the talent already in your organisation that you can develop and retain, without the cost of recruitment.
- Embrace customer demand and respond effectively, listen to and interpret insight in order to drive productivity and remain competitive.
Q. How can manufacturers ensure they are prepared and ready for the digital future?
A. Innovation and having a future focused innovation plan is a key driver here. Additionally, manufacturers should look to operate as efficiently as possible and utilise the untapped talent in their workforce by encouraging collaboration allowing all levels of the team to bring fresh ideas to the table.
Q. What do businesses need to do to remain competitive?
A. As we face a new age of digital manufacturing, it's vital for manufacturers to look at developing their digital capabilities to enhance the production of new products but also enhance the production of existing products to add greater value to their offering.
Q. What programmes and initiatives could businesses put in place to ensure efficient operations?
A. Getting buy-in from the top to combine operational improvements with wider business strategic plans is the first step. Businesses can then implement a tactical deployment plan that allows employees to have a clear understanding of the part they play to drive improvements for growth. By empowering the workforce and proactively developing cross-functional relationships and interactions, businesses can avoid silo thinking and benefit from the sharing of innovative ideas.
Businesses should also look at managing their supply chains, from front door to back door. This means ensuring you have effective relationships with all suppliers, whether you are shipping or receiving goods, and ensuring all elements are aligned to help eliminate as much waste as possible and add value to the customer.
Q. Are manufacturers doing enough now?
A. We’re getting there, but we need to do more, and we need to do it now. We need to use time efficiently and to our advantage to get ahead and compete.
Q. How would a manufacturing business ensure they can innovate to ensure a secure and productive future?
A. Plan, plan, and plan. Consider the customer, the market and how you will implement initiatives and projects in order to innovate and get the highest return on investment.