Article | December 8, 2021
An agile manufacturing strategy is one that places a strong priority on responding quickly to the needs of the customer, resulting in a major competitive advantage.
It is a captivating method to build a competitive work system in today's fast-moving marketplace. An agile organization must be able to adapt quickly to take advantage of limited opportunities and rapid shifts as per client demand. Agile manufacturing is gaining favor among manufacturers due to its several benefits, including increased work productivity and good control over the final deliverable. Furthermore, the shorter time to market is expanding the global market for enterprise agile transformation services.
According to Market Watch, with a CAGR of 17.9% from 2019 to 2026, the US enterprise agile transformation services market is predicted to reach $18,189.32 million by 2026.
So why is agile manufacturing gaining traction? What challenges do manufacturers encounter when implementing agile manufacturing, and how have industry leaders like GE, Adobe, and Accenture effectively implemented agile methodology in their organizations and become the best examples of agile manufacturing? In this article, we'll take a closer look at each point.
What Is the Importance of Agile Manufacturing?
The term "agile manufacturing" refers to the use of a variety of different technologies and methodologies in the production process. In order to meet market standards and criteria, organizations must be able to adapt quickly and effectively to their customers' needs by bringing agility to manufacturing. To ensure the quality of products and the cost of production are kept to a minimum, agile manufacturing helps firms to regulate their end product.
Because it immediately addresses the needs and worries of the clients, it is an effective strategy as well. By using this method, firms may better understand the market and use it to their advantage by creating products that meet the needs of their customers.
Challenges While Adopting Agile Methodologies on a Project
When we talk about agile challenges when implementing it on any project, some will be routine and some will be unique. So, let's get a quick grasp on the agile challenges.
Communication about the project: Clear communication between the development team and the product owner is critical throughout the project development life cycle. Any miscommunication can have an impact on the product's quality and the end result of the entire process.
Managing the day-to-day operational challenges: Throughout the project, daily minor or large operations play a significant impact on the overall project output. Any obstacles encountered when working on everyday chores should be resolved immediately to avoid any delays or halts in the process.
To make it function, you'll need experience: Any inexperienced product owners, scrum masters, or individuals new to the agile approach may have a negative impact on the project's expected output.
Various project contributors' buy-in: Inadequate training, a lack of motivation to show up from project participants, keeping customers in the loop, and a lack of departmental management are some of the problems that may hinder the accurate implementation of the agile methodology. The presence of one or more of these obstacles in any business or project may jeopardize the agile methodology and its total output.
Though there are many online training courses and books available on how to integrate agile practices into your project, each organization's scenario is unique, as are the challenges they encounter. As a result, handling the situation with experienced personnel that have a can-do attitude is what is required to make it work.
Following that, we'll look at some manufacturing business agile examples and how they've successfully implemented agile methodology in their organizations.
Agile Manufacturing Examples
We'll look at one of the most well-known industrial examples of agile manufacturing that has successfully implemented the methodology and achieved great outcomes. Take a peek at it.
One of the most popular agile manufacturing examples in performance management revamps is Adobe. When Donna Morris was Senior Vice President of People Resources in 2012, she thought the annual performance evaluation and the stack-ranking process were bureaucratic, paperwork-heavy overly complicated, taking up too many management hours for the company. Aside from this, she discovered that it set barriers to joint efforts, creativity, and development.
The Adobe team ditched annual performance reviews and encouraged managers and employees to regularly discuss performance via a system called “Check-in.” Adobe has reduced voluntary turnover by 30% and increased voluntary departures by 50% since making the transition. Moreover, the company saved 80,000 management hours annually.
General Electric famously overhauled its performance management system in 2015, paving the path for other global firms to follow in the electronics industry. Annual performance evaluations and the infamous rank-and-yank performance rating system (ranking employees and regularly eliminating the bottom 10%) had GE decide they needed to update their performance management system. The annual appraisals lasted a decade longer than the ranking system. They are now a more agile organization.
Instead of directing employees to attain goals, managers now guide and coach them. GE also decided to deploy an app they designed called PD@GE to facilitate regular employee feedback and productive performance discussions.
Using the app, each employee establishes priorities and solicits feedback. They can also give real-time feedback. Employees can request a face-to-face meeting at any time to discuss transparency, honesty, and continuous improvement.
These traits will not arise quickly and will require motivation and commitment for self-growth.
According to Accenture's previous system, employees who perform well tend to be the most narcissists and self-promoters. Accenture wanted to revamp their system and reward genuine employees. So they started using on-going performance conversations while focusing on performance development.
Because it required employees to compete with coworkers who may have had a different position, Accenture decided that forced ranking was illogical. The new system is more centered on the employee and aims to assist them in becoming the best version of themselves.
Agile manufacturing is a way to get the finest results and exceed client expectations on every project. Businesses are benefiting from agile manufacturing because it improves the end product and helps them better utilize their resources. The necessity of agile manufacturing in business is vital, and organizations must overcome the challenges they encounter while applying the agile approach to any of their projects in order to reap the benefits of agile production.
How does agile manufacturing help businesses?
An agile manufacturing process enables organizations to respond to client requests with flexibility when market conditions change, as well as regulate their intended production while preserving product quality and minimizing costs.
What is an agile organization?
Unified alignment, accountability, specialization, transparency, and cooperation are key elements in an agile organization. To guarantee these teams can work efficiently, the organization must maintain a solid environment.
What are the core elements of agility?
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools are the four values of the Agile Methodology. A working program is preferable to in-depth documentation. During contract negotiation, the customer's cooperation is valued.
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"name": "What is an agile organization?",
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"name": "What are the core elements of agility?",
"text": "Individuals and interactions over processes and tools are the four values of the Agile Methodology. A working program is preferable to in-depth documentation. During contract negotiation, the customer's cooperation is valued."
Article | December 14, 2021
Do manufacturing businesses require Business Intelligence (BI)? The answer is YES. Manufacturing is one of the most data-intensive businesses, producing massive amounts of data ranging from supply chain management to shop floor scheduling, accounting to shipping and delivery, and more.
All of this information would go to waste if not properly categorized and utilized. Scrutinizing and analyzing your data with business intelligence will help you become a more efficientand productive organization. Your organized data can show you where the gaps or inefficiencies are in your manufacturing process and help you fix it.
Many companies simply are not willing to change or think they are done once they make a change. But the truth is technology, consumer demands, the way we work, human needs and much more are constantly changing.
Michael Walton, Director, Industry Executive at Microsoft
BI has the potential to improve the operations of an organization and transform it into an organized one. According to Finances Online research, more than 46% of organizations are already employing a BI tool as a significant part of their company strategy, and according to Dresner Advisory Services research, 8 in 10 manufacturers who use BI for analytics have seen it function successfully.
How Manufacturing Operations Are Improving with Business Intelligence?
As revealed by the BI statistics above, we can see that business intelligence is critical in manufacturing. To further illustrate how business intelligence supports the manufacturing industry, let's look at some of the business intelligence benefits that are making a difference in the manufacturing industry.
Advances Operational Efficacy
While modern enterprises create massive amounts of data, not all of this data is relevant. Today's business intelligence solutions take all of the data from your organization and transform it into an easily comprehensible and actionable format. It enables you to minimize or fix errors in real-time. Additionally, it helps you to forecast raw material demand and assess procedures along the supply chain to ensure maximum efficiency.
Allows for the Analysis and Monitoring of Financial Operations
Business intelligence solutions provide insight into sales, profit, and loss, raw material utilization and can usually assist you in optimizing resources to increase your return on investment. Understanding your cost-benefit analysis, BI enables you to manage production costs, monitor processes, and improve value chain management.
Assists in the Management of Your Supply Chain
Manufacturing companies engage with various carriers, handling these multiple processes can be complicated. BI enables manufacturing companies to have more accurate control over shipments, costs, and carrier performance by providing visibility into deliveries, freight expenditures, and general supplies.
Contributes to the Reduction of Inventory Expenses and Errors
Overstocks and out-of-stocks are substantial barriers to profitability. Business intelligence can assist you in tracking records over time and location while identifying issues such as product faults, inventory turnover, and margins for particular distributors.
Determines the Efficiency of Equipment
Several factors can cause inefficient production. For example, errors with equipment due to improper installation, maintenance, or frequent downtime can reduce production. So, to keep industrial operations running well, one must monitor these factors.
Manufacturers can maintain their machines' health using data analytics and business intelligence. It provides real-time information about your production lines' status and streamlines production procedures.
How Business Intelligence Helped SKF (SvenskaKullagerfabriken) to Efficiently Plan Their Future Manufacturing
SKF is a key supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, and lubrication systems globally. The company posses its headquarter in Sweden and has distributors in over 130 countries.
Due to SKF's extensive worldwide reach and product diversity, they constantly need to forecast market size and demand for their products to modify their future manufacturing. Generally, SKF experts developed and kept their forecasts in traditional and intricate excel files. However, the efforts of maintaining and reconciling disparate studies were excessively high. As a result, SKF used require days to generate a simple demand prediction.
Later, SKF integrated its business data assets into a single system by utilizing business intelligence in production. Following that, they could swiftly begin sharing their data and insights across multiple divisions within their firm. They are now able to aggregate demand estimation fast and does not face cross-departmental issues about data integrity for the vast number of product varieties they manufacture.
This intelligent data management enabled SKF to plan their future production operations efficiently.
Business intelligence in manufacturing makes a big difference in the organization's entire operations. Given the benefits of business intelligence in manufacturing, a growing number of manufacturers are implementing it in their operations.
According to Mordor Intelligence, Business Intelligence (BI) Market was worth USD 20.516 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to reach USD 40.50 billion by 2026, growing at a 12% compound annual growth rate throughout the forecast period (2021-2026).
Hence, we may say that the business intelligence is crucial for manufacturing and is booming, thanks to its enormous potential and the numerous benefits it provides to various businesses.
Why is business intelligence so important in manufacturing?
Organization intelligence may assist businesses in making better decisions by presenting current and past data within the context of their business. Analysts can use business intelligence to give performance and competitive benchmarking data to help the firm run more smoothly and efficiently.
What value does BI add to manufacturing?
Business intelligence solutions provide insight into sales, profit, and loss, raw material utilization and can usually assist you in optimizing resources to increase your return on investment. Understanding your cost-benefit analysis enables you to manage production costs, monitor processes, and improve value chain management.
What is business intelligence's key objective?
Business intelligence is helpful to assist corporate leaders, business managers, and other operational employees in making more informed business
Article | December 13, 2021
Lean manufacturing is a growing trend that aims to reduce waste while increasing productivity in manufacturing systems. But, unfortunately, waste doesn't add value to the product, and buyers don't want to pay for it.
This unusual method pushed Toyota Motor Corporation's industry to become a leading Toyota Production System (TPS). As a result, they are now efficiently producing some of the world's top cars with the least waste and the quickest turnaround.
The majority of manufacturers are now using lean management. According to the 2010 Compensation Data Manufacturing report, 69.7% of manufacturing businesses use Lean Manufacturing Practices.
Lean tools are the ones that help you in implementing lean practice in your organization. These lean tools assist in managing people and change while solving problems and monitoring performance. Lean Manufacturing technologies are designed to reduce waste, improve flow, improve quality control, and maximize manufacturing resources.
What Are the Five Best Lean Manufacturing Tools and How Do They Work?
There are roughly 50 Lean Manufacturing tools available in the market. This post will describe 5 of them and their value to your business and its developments.
The 5S system promotes efficiency by organizing and cleaning the workplace. To help increase workplace productivity, the system has five basic guidelines (five S's). The five Ss are Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain.
5S improves workplace efficiency and effectiveness by:
Sort: Removing unnecessary material from each work area
Set: Set the goal of creating efficient work areas for each individual
Shine: Maintaining a clean work area after each shift helps identify and resolve minor concerns
Standardize: Documenting changes to make other work areas' applications more accessible
Sustain: Repeat each stage for continuous improvement
5S is a lean tool used in manufacturing, software, and healthcare. Kaizen and Kanban can be utilized to produce the most efficient workplace possible.
Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing
Just-in-time manufacturing allows manufacturers to produce products only after a customer requests them. This reduces the risk of overstocking or damaging components or products during storage.
Consider JIT if your company can operate on-demand and limit the risk of only carrying inventory as needed. JIT can help manage inventory, but it can also hinder meeting customer demand if the supply chain breaks.
With Kaizen, you may enhance seven separate areas at once: business culture, leadership, procedures, quality, and safety. Kaizen is a Japanese word, means "improvement for the better" or "constant improvement."
“Many companies are not willing to change or think they are done once they make a change. But the truth is technology; consumer demands, the way we work, human needs and much more are constantly changing.”
– Michael Walton, Director, Industry Executive at Microsoft
The idea behind Kaizen is that everyone in the organization can contribute suggestions for process improvement. Accepting everyone's viewpoints may not result in significant organizational changes, but minor improvements here and there will add up over time to substantial reductions in wasted resources.
Kanban is a visual production method that delivers parts to the production line as needed. This lean tool works by ensuring workers get what they need when they need it.
Previously, employees used Kanban cards to request new components, and new parts were not provided until the card asked them to. In recent years, sophisticated software has replaced Kanban cards to signal demand electronically. Using scanned barcodes to signify when new components are needed, the system may automatically request new parts.
Kanban allows businesses to manage inventory better, decrease unnecessary stock, and focus on the products that must be stored. To reduce waste and improve efficiency, facilities can react to current needs rather than predict the future.
Kanban encourages teams and individuals to improve Kanban solutions and overall production processes like Kaizen. Kanban as a lean tool can be used with Kaizen and 5S.
PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act)
Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) is a scientific strategy for managing change. Dr. W. Edwards Deming invented it in the 1950s; hence, it is called the ‘Deming Cycle.’
The PDCA cycle has four steps:
Problem or Opportunity: Determine whether a problem or an opportunity exists
Do: Make a small test
Examine: Look over the test results
Act: Take action depending on results
How Nestlé Used the Kaizen Lean Manufacturing Tool
Nestlé is the largest food corporation in the world, yet it is also a company that practices Lean principles, particularly the Kaizen method. Nestlé Waters used a technique known as value stream mapping, which is frequently associated with Kaizen. They designed a new bottling factory from scratch to guarantee that operations were as efficient as possible. Nestlé has been aiming to make ongoing changes to their processes to reduce waste and the amount of time and materials that can be wasted during their operations.
Lean manufacturing techniques enable many businesses to solve their manufacturing difficulties and become more productive and customer-centric. In addition, useful lean manufacturing tools assist companies in obtaining the anticipated outcomes and arranging their operations in many excellent ways to meet buyer expectations. Hence, gather a list of the top lean manufacturing tools and choose the best fit for your organization to maximize your ROI and address the performance issue that is causing your outcomes to lag.
What are the standard tools in lean manufacturing?
Among the more than 50 lean manufacturing tools, Kaizen, 5S, Kanban, Value Stream Mapping, and PDCA are the most commonly used lean manufacturing tools.
How to Select the Best Lean Manufacturing Tools for Your Business?
Choosing a lean manufacturing tool begins with identifying the issue or lag in your organization that affects overall productivity and work quality. To select the lean device that best meets your company's needs, you must first grasp each one's benefits and implementation techniques.
What is included in a Lean 5S toolkit?
The lean 5S toolbox contains some essential items for achieving the goal. It comes with a notepad or tablet, a camera, a high-quality flashlight, a tape measure, and a stopwatch.
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Article | June 28, 2021
Manufacturing journalist Thomas R. Cutler visited the remarkable and magnificent country of Uganda.
Foreign investment is coming into the country and that is a good thing; it is not however, enough. To tap into this workforce corporate citizenship and contribution is essential. Just as I underestimated the stamina needed to climb the mountain to experience the gorillas, the role of transforming Uganda requires a careful, well-thought approach.