Recently our friends at Aberdeen Research compiled their findings on the outlook for manufacturing (Manufacturing Industry Outlook, January, 2013), after a variety of leading manufacturers such as Mercedes Benz Fuel Cells, ABB Inc., and Mercury Marine convened the Manufacturing Industry Leadership Summit. Their conclusions were presented in a paper published recently.
We’ll save you the cost of the summit and cut to the chase, with a few excerpts from Aberdeen’s compilation of recommendations and ideas to support a successful strategy for collaboration:
- It’s a journey – The ability to change, improve, or push your manufacturing organization forward is a never ending, always on, continuous iteration of activities. (But then, you already knew that, didn’t you?)
- Good results belong to everyone – Collaborative execution includes all functions, multiple sites and a global perspective
- There is no change without leadership – The journey needs vision, roadmap, influence, drive and budget.
- Identify the right fit – Understand your culture. The approach depends on the makeup, values and behaviors of your organization.
- Focus on a key activity (or a limited few) – Whether it’s innovation, efficiencies, quality, risk, safety or technology, a core set of disciplines can define how to best create value for customers.
- Take control of the complexity – Look into automation… to simplify processes. Integrating products and production process can be a good starting point.
- Leverage assessments – To help find gaps or at least benchmark where your organization is currently operating.
- Performance improvements – Simple metrics with the right incentives. Use metrics in a simplified way and stick with them.
- Invest in collaboration – From technology, to time and people, collaboration requires a free flow of information but also training, support, and executive commitment.
Sounds simple, even intuitive, right? But it’s a process, a method, and a commitment to continuous improvement in search of the best way to provide value for your customers. Get learning. Get understanding of what matters inside your company. And then, get to work.