A New Playing Field for Machinery & Automation
The global pandemic, COVID-19, has led to an unprecedented level of disruption disabling many leading manufacturing companies. Despite the diversity and range of goods produced, almost every company has experienced a drop in demand with plants left idle as the virus encompasses the globe. In such challenging times, adapting production processes to thrive in a post-COVID environment is the only step forward.
The primary challenge with manufacturing companies lies in their predominantly B2B manner of operations. Manufacturing units are unlikely to see any positive change in demand unless their end markets see a rise in activity. 77% of machinery and automation companies have declared a strong, or in some cases very strong, disruption in demand. Statisticians at McKinsey estimated GVA projections across 13 customer industries, and found the only exception set to see profit was – oil and gas. Automotive industries are amongst the hardest hit alongside textiles and clothing as well as semiconductors.
The key to adapting post-COVID lies in assessing avenues by which demand may see an uptick and devise a plan for rapid recovery based on this. The nine critical actions for manufacturing success listed below can assist your enterprise in regaining operational momentum, and help boost supply chains and double manufacturing capacity while safeguarding employee interests using cost-effective methods.
9 Critical Actions to Implement in Manufacturing
These actions will act as critical success factors to sustain manufacturing post-COVID.
1. Automation, Digitization & Faster GTM Models
Industrial automation strategies are increasing in terms of process integrations. More and more industries are looking towards technology to offset the burden of heavy manual intervention, now made scarce due to pandemic-imposed regulations. Remote monitoring and servicing can also keep operations running with a lighter workforce. Accelerating GTM models gives companies the ability to respond to new opportunities faster. It also allows companies to respond to customer requirements better and this increases company resilience. Working closely with vendors along the supply chain can create a central digitized platform where everyone involved is up to date on shipments and processing.
2. Adopting Flexible Operations to Overcome COVID Disruptions
Business executives can benefit highly from adopting operational models that allow for flexibility. This is due to the fact that even in production processes after COVID, the resurgence of employee availability may take time to be realized. Whereas, a company with sufficient inventory, or even a surplus, can locally source integral parts and components letting them sustain functional assembly lines with a much higher degree of supply chain flexibility. Adjusting internal processes and interfaces can also enable more flexible operations.
3. Deploying Executional Task Forces
In these challenging times, multiple issues are competing for managerial attention. Deploying a team to execute and oversee the implementation of your industrial automation can ease the integration without creating further productional disruptions. Your task force can be responsible for:
- Making sure your company swiftly implements the recovery strategy across all departments.
- Using their production line expertise to develop segment-specific tool boxes.
- Monitoring KPIs.
4. Implementing Organizational Modifications
Situations that call for a manufacturing timeout can be great opportunities to review and assess extant processes. This is a critical success factor in manufacturing. It gives your organization’s management the chance to refine and optimize processes with the help of industrial automation. Executives can collaborate between departments to identify areas which could benefit from the intervention of automation and thereby overcome any pandemic-imposed barriers to manufacturing.
5. ROI Focused Cost-Effectiveness
In order to retain profits, companies should review their demands and meet targeted expenses accordingly. Once cost targets are established your accountants can engage in a re-planning exercise wherein spending is reviewed and expenses reduced. Automation has shown a 300% increase in ROI; combining it within your manufacturing’s administrative processes can be the buffer your enterprise needs to weather the pandemic.
6. Re-prioritizing Business Undertakings
COVID-19 has restructured the business landscape and as such businesses must adjust planning and priorities. If top-line targets increase, you must also evaluate whether your supply chains and production facilities can meet targeted volumes. These are important elements to consider alongside R&D developments plus marketing campaigns, human resource initiatives and so on. Weighing your businesses capabilities against its needs can help machinery and automation industries get back on track quickly with strategies that are manageable.
7. Establishing Prompt Supply-Chain
Machinery and automation businesses have very complex supply chains and as such have limited transparency into operations. Replenishing parts in a timely manner becomes difficult when operators cannot evaluate production systems. These supply chains increase in terms of risk when they can be sourced only from a single supplier. Industrial automation can provide increased insight into assembly line components that frequently require replacements and better predict lead times for component replacement. This will keep your manufacturing unit functioning seamlessly.
8. Leveraging Sales Activity
Once businesses have identified where their consumers intend on increasing production, they can identify means to leverage improved performance, such as alternative financial options. Companies can boost sales by collaborating with other partners in their ecosystem while industrial automation leverages such opportunities for your enterprise.
9. Empathizing with Customers
Understanding your consumer is always important, but more so in the machinery and automation sector of manufacturing. Accurate interpretation of their expectations can help you offer them additional services powered by industrial automation – this can be an appealing bonus for your prospects. Providing such custom-made offerings to your customers is often a critical factor for success and differentiation.
Essential Software Solutions Inc. can help you implement these nine critical actions for successful manufacturing recovery and more, to help you sail through this pandemic with ease. Make sure your industry recovers rapidly with enhanced production and manufacturing processes to cope with a volatile economic scenario. Essential Software Solutions Inc. has been assisting manufacturing and automation industries across Canada get up and running with technology enabled capabilities and best practice guidance. Reach out to our team at ESS to find out more.
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