Manufacturers that best navigate the challenges of the world they operate in have a number of characteristics in common.
1. A clear vision of how their manufacturing operation looks like and operates in three to five years’ time.

They have decided which markets and customers they want to serve and understand what it takes for their manufacturing operation to enable business success. They focus on a “vital few” strategic initiatives with clear deliverables, and timelines and drive consistent execution.

For most manufacturers business conditions are more volatile and ambiguous than ever. Therefore, they review on a regular basis their strategic initiatives in the context of developing conditions and adapt. However, their long-term course is stable.

2. An aligned operating model

Winning manufacturers align their operating model with their vision. They know that if they don’t, their defacto strategy (their day-to-day operation) will deviate from their intended strategy. And they keep organisational complexity low as complexity drives costs up and speed and flexibility down.

This means well-aligned and “leaned out” business processes, KPI’s that help to control the operation, unambiguous roles and responsibilities, decision power low in the organisation, a reporting structure that creates transparency and insight in the actual performance, and a meeting structure that facilitates effective, fact-based decision making.

3. Employees with a high level of ownership

Employees at all levels in the organisation feel co-owners of the company and demonstrate a relentless drive to eliminate performance bottlenecks.
They have the skills to be successful and make sure they acquire new skills in line with the evolving needs of the company.

4. Drive to eliminate complexity

Complexity creates costs and inflexibility. They consider each and every type complexity: product and service design, the design of production means, total cost of ownership of purchased goods and services, cost of ownership of a supplier, contractor or client,

5. Continuous investment in smart manufacturing

With an increasing digitalisation of their operations, they gain significantly in speed, flexibility, and productivity. They develop new business strategies and innovate products and services portfolios. In developing smart manufacturing, they not only focus on selecting the right technology, analytics programs, and algorithms but also nurture a digital culture and skills.

Ever since 2006 we have been supporting manufacturing companies to deliver on their vision. Please get in touch to explore how we could support you in becoming one of the winners.