Extreme pressures can either cause things to crumble or, like diamonds, change them to something different and sometimes something entirely more valuable. In the case of manufacturing, it seems the extreme pressures of competition and latterly the pandemic have crystalised challenges in the minds of management and focused their attention on accelerating change.
All industry sectors have had a tough time over the past 18 months, but the challenges facing the manufacturing industry have been immense. Changing buyer habits, disruptive challenger brands, supply chain interruptions and adapting to the increased health and safety requirements brought on by the pandemic have heaped pressures onto businesses like never before.
But the latest analysis from industry research experts Aberdeen it seems that throughout the pandemic the resilience of the industry and its commitment to innovate has only been strengthened by these additional challenges.
Findings indicate that digital transformation has become more of a priority for 67% of manufacturers. These organisations have recognised the importance of using technology to improve time-to-market, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), and advance innovation and are accelerating their efforts.
Look below the surface of this headline figure and the top five Pressures to Improve Operations are enlightening:
- Increasing pace of innovation / changing business models – 34%.
- Customers demand competitive differentiation with higher quality – 34%
- Need to reduce costs – 31%
- Improve ability / flexibility to respond to business demands – 30%
- Need to shift manufacturing and sourcing due to supply changes – 30%
Increasing pace of innovation / changing business models – 34%.
Customers demand competitive differentiation with higher quality – 34%
Need to reduce costs – 31%
Improve ability / flexibility to respond to business demands – 30%
Need to shift manufacturing and sourcing due to supply changes – 30%
It tells me that manufacturing and engineering teams are constantly looking for ways to further transform and optimise their processes across the organisation - whether that is during product development, on the factory floor or through the supply chain.
This innovation is driven by customer demand for the most sophisticated and high quality products at the most competitive rates. Driving a need to cut costs and build in flexibility to the manufacturing operation – to meet the changing demands and react to any sourcing and supply chain issues.
This latest Aberdeen study underlines that digital transformation is the foundation for an organisation to be able to build in these attributes to its manufacturing operation but it is the process optimisation that delivers the benefits and enables businesses in this sector to be Best-In-Class.
I’ll be looking more closely at what makes a Best-In-Class organisation in Manufacturing in additional articles over the coming weeks but if you wish to find out more, I urge you to download our latest Aberdeen research report “Process Optimisation in Manufacturing: The Key to Best-In-Class Success.”
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