Urgency accelerates efficiency driven activities to maximize profit for Manufacturers
Is it a “NEW NORMAL” or have we simply been forced to accelerate those things that bring efficiencies, automation, digital transformation, ERP systems, and lean manufacturing together to provide a competitive edge and higher profitability because of a significant event?
The capability of providing customers with a 24 / 7 option to request quotes, RMA’s or place orders is a tremendous advantage in many industries and is readily available from qualified sources. The technology to automate order entry with EDI (Electronic data interchange), configurators and auto-loading website extracts combined with deploying ACH (automatic check handling) and automated 3-way matching can bring velocity to the entire order-to-cash process and has been available for many years. Visibility to real-time production schedules, capacity, supplier performance and other key measures and metrics have been accessible to manufacturers for a long time. CAD system integration, shop floor automation, machine monitoring, supplier portals, and inventory transactions at point of use with mobile devices have all been enhanced and upgraded to a level of high quality over the past 3 to 5 years. And of course, your core system – the ERP – now has automated work flows, notifications, chat, dashboards and other efficiency enhancing features and functions that older ERP’s just didn’t have.
So, what’s NEW and what’s so different? Well it’s CHANGE!!!!!!
For most, there is only so much that fits into a 40+ hour work week. Critical projects, deadlines, and a growing list of priorities can make it difficult to complete everything that needs to get done. The thought of introducing any type of change to the normal process regardless of its need simply adds a new layer of fear, concern and complexity in most companies. And therefore, most will delay the inevitable need to avoid the stress of change. But when there is an event of significance, we instinctively push everything to the side and refocus on the immediate. Change happens quickly when there is an emergency. The urgency of doing it outweighs the fear of change. And when it is done the realization that it was not so bad, and that the future somehow looks even better makes many ask the question “why didn’t we do this sooner?”.
If you and your company are in the same place as you were before the significant event, you may have missed an opportunity to improve your competitive edge. If you and your company seized the moment and drove change with improvements, then you successfully managed change throughout your organization, and it probably wasn’t as complex as you feared.
For those who missed this opportunity, create a sense of urgency in your company NOW. Competition will continue to challenge every manufacturer, but you can control your own destiny by rejecting the status quo, redefining your objectives, and driving change that brings measurable improvement.
For those that seized the moment, DON’T STOP NOW! You’ve already cracked the code on change. Now it is important to realize that improvement has no completion date. It must be consistent and continuous to stay ahead of the competition and remain successful.
Authored by Michael P. Canty, Executive Vice President – Synergy Resources – A Business Performance Improvement Partner