How to bring the 21st century manufacturing revolution to your workplace

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Are you a fan of Ted Talks? When I was watching Boston Consulting Group’s Oliver Scalabre in his talk, “The next manufacturing revolution is here,” I couldn’t help but agree. In working with manufacturers across the UK to identify process improvements, eliminate waste and implement lasting change, I’ve seen that manufacturers can make significant productivity improvements through using Lean tools and initiatives, and implementing improvements through 4IR.

Interested in implementing practical Lean tools back in company? Attend our upcoming Lean Six Sigma Green Belt course.

Growth is down

As Mr. Scalabre explains, global growth is slowing. Interestingly, every major jump in growth in the last two centuries has come from a revolution in manufacturing. And fortunately, we’re due for another explosion of productivity in manufacturing right now.

“Today in our factories, only 8 percent of the tasks are automated. The less complex, the more repetitive ones. It will be 25 percent in 10 years. It means that by 2025, advanced robots will complement workers to be, together, 20 percent more productive, to manufacture 20 percent more outputs, to achieve 20 percent additional growth.” – Oliver Scalabre


We’re already seeing the seeds of this revolution:

  • Increasingly advanced robotics complementing and automating the work of our employees
  • 3D printing to eliminate the need to make several products and combine into one by creating that one product in a single process
  • Instant customisation of products to meet customer needs and wants
  • Relocating offshore production to be closer to the customer and decrease need for excess stock
  • A renewed interest in apprenticeships to fill manufacturing’s skills gaps

For UK manufacturers, the time to invest in business growth and continuous improvement is now. Don’t let stale processes and supply chains limit your ability to be part of the revolution.


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