Based on assembly and shaping, discrete manufacturing creates final products, such as automobiles and electronics, from prefabricated components. In the past, mass production of discrete products might have been able to succeed with bureaucratic systems and closely supervised divisions of labor. But as globalization grows, traditional manufacturing is being challenged by an evolving marketplace and economy, where obstacles continuously rise and rules constantly change. It is up to managers to meet the same goals and exceed past performance, while navigating through a myriad of danger and uncertainty.
A 2004 study of the European automobile industry showed that only half the cars built match a customer’s exact preferences, with an average waiting time of seven weeks for delivery. As the market gives way to customer demands, the automobile industry and other discrete manufacturers are expected to start producing their respective products in the same fashion as Dell does with its computers. In addition to the pressure of offering a wide array of custom products, manufacturers must also deal with short product lifecycles, massive proliferation, complex product mixes, technological obsolescence, and a number of other factors.
For high-volume manufacturers, certain objectives must be met in order to develop an efficient operation and produce a high quality product. From a high level, one of the clearest objectives in manufacturing is to improve the utilization of capital. As a central theme in most goals, the objective becomes incredibly dynamic when coupled with changes in market demands and threats of obsolescence. In addition, rather than viewing manufacturing as a major cost center, businesses are becoming more concerned with developing it into a competitive advantage through cross functional and company efforts. When a manufacturer creates this edge, they are able to produce higher quality goods at lower prices, modify equipment according to product changes with minimal cost and establish a flexible, long-term strategy that is perfectly aligned with a company’s mission.
How can companies develop and maintain a competitive edge in light of all these challenges? Companies that dangle carrots just beyond their reach are setting high goals and constantly completing objectives to achieve continuous improvement. The successful ones realize the journey itself is the real reward, not the carrot. A well-planned strategy will map out a clear path for the journey and keep a company focused and on track to achieve the greatness it seeks.
GLOVIA G2 manufacturing ERP software helps companies develop clear pathways to improved productivity, higher quality and increased profitability.
Contact FUJITSU GLOVIA for an online demo or more information about GLOVIA G2 ERP capabilities for high-volume manufacturing.
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