We’re living in uneasy times. Although global manufacturing forecasts anticipate an uptick in growth in 2018 at 4.5%, volatility in international politics and trade agreements poses risks to manufacturers. To stay competitive and deliver results, manufacturers can utilize a range of manufacturing optimization tactics, primarily cost reduction and speed improvements.
Cost Reduction and Speed Improvement
Manufacturing optimization can improve responsiveness to your customers while lowering production costs. A 2017 Harvard study revealed the following three areas of focus among successful manufacturers.
- Leading firms rely on fewer components to build a wider variety of products. Most growing manufacturers believe having the capability to produce a broader line-up is a driver of their success. But to keep inventory costs under control, product design needs to center on maximizing use of available components, instead of introducing additional materials into the plant.
- Success also involves incorporating digital technologies across the manufacturing system. While the Harvard study references digital printing as a way to provide faster, more cost-effective prototypes, other industry predictions identify digital solutions for manufacturing optimization more broadly to include areas such as maintenance, inventory management, collaborative robotic production, and information management.
- The final element of manufacturing optimization outlined in the study involves developing a versatile workforce through cross-training. Having team members who can take on roles other than their own improves manufacturing flexibility while controlling productivity costs.
Manufacturing Optimization Increases Flexibility
While smart design, inventory management, digital technologies and a multi-skilled workforce are key elements of manufacturing optimization, building flexibility into your operation is also critical to be able to react quickly to changing customer needs as well as competitive threats.
Flexibility means being able to adjust factors like line speed or change over time, so you can modify production volumes and mix to meet demand and maximize profit. Flexibility in your manufacturing operations can also mean shorter lead times so you’re better able to outpace competitors.
Partnering for Success
Identifying areas where manufacturing design, process, equipment and operations can be reconfigured to deliver speed, cost reduction and flexibility is time consuming for teams fighting the daily competitive battle. Storee can help you improve the efficiency of your plant by completing a health assessment and providing a holistic plan for manufacturing optimization.
Our facilities experts at Storee Construction will review your operation from top to bottom, starting with the roof and lighting system and ending with the floor layout and shipping and receiving docks. We’ll outline the possibilities and work collaboratively with your teams to help your operation build and maintain a competitive edge. Use our experience with deploying digital and hardware infrastructures to prepare your facility to meet the challenges of 2018 head-on.
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