In today’s manufacturing environment, there are numerous and increasing layers of complexity. Due to this complexity, it is important to have a production planning and scheduling solution which has the ability to manage a production schedule despite the inevitable disruptions that can and will happen. You could add to this typical list below from your own painful experiences.
- Employees miss work.
- Customers change their minds.
- Materials aren’t available when expected.
- Machines break down.
- The weather turns terrible.
- Not every operator produces at the same rate.
- Some products need to be scrapped.
Damn the Disruption, Deliver Full Speed Ahead!
Most manufacturers have the ability to deliver to marketplace demand, of course, but often not as reliably as they or their customers would like. Delivering predictably, even in the face of disruption, can be the difference between gaining or losing market share. Some manufacturers are chronically late and a few even admit they sometimes “guess” at promised delivery dates. Those weaker players create new business opportunities for manufacturers who can consistently hit delivery dates. (Even if you have happy customers, you want to ensure that you deliver reliably on your quoted dates.)
Furthermore, as Industry 4.0 (AI, smart machines, Internet of Things, eCommerce, etc.) envelopes manufacturing, marketing, and selling, the company that can consistently deliver on-time (in less time) will gain a tremendous competitive advantage.
Adapt To Today’s On-Demand Customer
Manufacturers compete in a demand-driven marketplace. Companies are constantly challenged to change up their offerings from new options on existing products to introducing completely new products. This on-demand dynamic means today’s most successful companies must be highly agile and able to reconfigure quickly.
While it can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to anticipate requested changes in features, options, or other requirements, the ability to proactively understand the impact of these potential disruptions allows manufacturing managers to plan for issues before they become detrimental to operations and financial performance.
Technology can increase visibility into workflow and up-to-the-minute data allows managers to continually meet promised delivery dates. Technology alone and being adept at using it for advantage is not a once-and-done solution.
Technology Is Only Part of the Solution
Technology plus new thinking is required to set up a business to seize ever larger opportunities in the marketplace. Companies must adopt a Continuous Improvement framework (and mindset) to pick up market share, become more profitable, while achieving consistent long-term organizational growth.
Continuous improvement is an ongoing multi-phase process. More about that in a blog soon to follow.
On-Time Edge consults with clients daily to help them respond to highly variable marketplace with smart technology and thinking. Give us a shout.