Manufacturing is at the heart of our society in many ways today, and yet, it’s still shockingly inefficient in many aspects in various parts of the world, including ones with a heavier emphasis on industry. If you’re getting involved in this field – or have been in it for a while – it’s important to have the right attitude about it and know what kinds of problems you’re going to face. Because the reality is that some of those problems have been on the table for a long time, and many of them even have adequate solutions already available. However, many companies have been finding it hard to adapt to these new practices due to the rigid nature of their leadership structure.
Several factors remain to be the main offenders in manufacturing, and it’s surprising to see some of them on this list. But when you approach those deals the old-fashioned way, it makes sense that you’ll constantly be dealing with problems in finding the right plant for your order, getting a quote in time (and comparing the different quotes efficiently), and of course, communicating with someone on the other side of the world who’s often not in a talking mood at the same time as you. We already have solutions to many of these problems, but the truth is that it will take some time before those solutions are commonplace across the world.
How Tech Is Helping
It should be no surprise that tech has been the main driving force behind the solutions to many of these problems. Communication issues can be ironed out efficiently with proper use of modern solutions, which is why it’s so unfortunate that many factory owners and other entrepreneurs involved in this field continue to be reluctant to adopt these technologies on a deeper level.
At the same time, asset tracking and organization can be simplified to a great extent, which in turn can result in more efficient quoting processes, improved market reach, and more. But of course, these things take time to integrate properly, and that time is often seen (wrongly) as a direct loss by many leaders, leading to the current stagnation.
New Methodologies for Old Problems
We’ve also seen the rise of some new methodologies that have largely been aimed at resolving these old, long-standing problems, and some of those developments have nothing to do with technological advancements. Some are purely abstract and have been hugely successful. Take lean and Six Sigma, for example – lean manufacturing has been a very prominent trend in many circles in the industrial world lately, and it’s good to see that leaders are at least open to adopting that.
Things like optimizing the physical layout of a production facility have also taken some time to get the attention they deserve, but we are already seeing a lot of change in this regard. We’ve also seen the rise of various new results of this trend, like minimalistic production facilities with a heavy focus on optimization.
The Problem with Globalization
We already touched on this above, but it’s another point that’s very important to be aware of when dealing with optimization issues in production. The world is becoming closer and closer to one big space, and while this has brought a lot of good to the table, it’s also created some problems that we didn’t really anticipate in the beginning, and are only starting to deal with now.
Time differences are already bad enough, but when you also add things like cultural issues to the list, the problem can be quite severe. It’s important to change your approach to one that minimizes these factors as much as possible, and unfortunately, this often means swallowing your pride and ignoring certain things. Many leaders wrongly see this as outside of the scope of their duties, but the truth is that they can often benefit from something like this a lot.
Integrating the Internet into Your Workflow
The internet is all around us now, and it’s been helping a lot in many regards. It’s important to take full advantage of what it has to offer and to use all services that can improve the performance of your own work to their full potential. Even something as seemingly simple as paying for a production order can sometimes add a lot to the overall workload as it continues to stack up, and in some cases, it can become a major bottleneck.
As The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining in China tells us, the sector has become quite developed in multiple regards related to the productivity of their manufacturing process. It’s now easy to find companies that offer affordable online CNC services, injection molding services, rapid machining, sheet metal prototyping, sheet metal fabrication, prototype molding, rapid tooling, and more. It’s important to also work with a company with an established online payment platform if you want to ensure that you’re taking proper advantage of the situation. Companies like Rapid Direct have been at the forefront of these developments for some time now, and it’s a good idea to start with them if you’re not sure where to even begin.
A New Approach to Employee Development
Another area that often deserves more attention than it gets is your approach to employee development and long-term growth. Traditionally, the manufacturing sector has not paid much attention to that, and employees were seen as expendable for the most part. This has been changing a lot in recent times though, and we’re already seeing some great results from that. And while a lot more work can be done in this regard, it’s good to see that at least it’s receiving some attention. If you’re not paying much consideration to how your own workers are evolving over time, you’re making a huge mistake. A lot can be gained from focusing on some viable candidates and boosting them up, much like in other sectors.
It Starts from the Top
Never forget that the best area to start improving your organization is within yourself. A good leader can make all the difference in the performance of a modern company, and it’s important that you stay aware of your shortcomings and do as much as you can to address them. This also involves some self-reflection, which can often be a painful process for some people, but that’s a bit beyond the scope of this article. The point is, don’t underestimate the potential of boosting your company’s performance through improving your own.
Preparing for the Future
Trends come and go, but some stabilize long enough to gain a permanent presence on their relevant market. It’s important to stay aware of this and pay attention to how things are moving around you because you never know when something new and important could come up in the world of manufacturing that you’ll want to pay attention to. There are many things that you can integrate into your company’s workflow that can benefit it significantly, and you should do your best to gain a good understanding of them.
Above all though, stay realistic. The old saying “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” is a very good piece of wisdom here, and you should do your best to steer your company in a direction that’s realistically maintainable over a longer period of time if you want it to survive in the future.
Article by Born Realist