People Power-the Driving Force of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

KATY GEORGE| May 08, 2019
PEOPLE POWER-THE DRIVING FORCE OF THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
The technology that is powering the fourth industrial revolution is now widely available and the value is clear-sensor and automation technologies are bringing new opportunities to update brownfield manufacturing sites across sectors and geographies around the world.

Spotlight

Listers Group

Listers values and nurtures its relationship with it's manufacturing partners, not only ensuring their stability, but strengthening the peace of mind that they can offer their customers. The link between customers'​ cars and the people who made them, secures and bolsters the support that Listers Group can offer to their customers'​ vehicles.

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5 Ways Inbound Marketing Can Maximize your Business Growth in 2021

Article | April 6, 2021

Inbound marketing has become a vital part of the manufacturing industry, especially after the pandemic. Marketers want to get more business, more high-quality leads, increase revenue, and expand it into new markets. A lot of opportunities are arising for manufacturers to embrace its effectiveness—especially online. Unlike other industries, the manufacturing industry is not safe from the continual pendulum swing of updates, new platform creation, and changing buyer preferences. Manufacturing marketing has its own blend of deliverables and initiatives that can spell the success of your business. Until now, you must have realized that your traditional marketing tactics are obsolete and would have planned to get the inbound marketing program off the ground. Now what? Here comes the critical part—understanding how to implement inbound marketing for your business to generate high revenue. With the help of these five steps, you can stay ahead of your competition. Before you approach the steps, first you need to: Identify your Customers’ Pain Points Understanding what frustrates your buyers gives an insight into how to answer the queries they look for. To determine what queries your buyers may have, you can: Interview your customers: Your customers are your leading source of information. Ask them what solutions they are searching for. What content did they read to solve their solutions? What information, insights, FAQs, or product details can help them? This way, create content that answers all of these questions. Talk to your sales representative: Your sales team is on the front line with your buyers/customers. They very well know what content gaps can be filled. Identify the gaps and work accordingly. These considerations will help you to stay updated in the competitive landscape of manufacturing marketing. Now, start your inbound marketing program by following these steps. Update Website When planning inbound marketing, your website becomes the center of the universe. It’s where all your marketing efforts, like great content for your prospective buyers come in. After all, this is how you’re going to start ranking on search engines and driving in leads. Before you get to this part, you’ll need to do a basic audit to ensure your website is in tandem with your targeted audiences’ expectations. The website interface is the focal point that helps buyers to interact. This will help them to interact with your business. And if their experience is negative, they’ll probably never bother to read further. To avoid such circumstances, here are a few critical web design tips you should know and implement: A Clean Look Keep your website simple and embrace spaces to make it more appealing to the eyes. Too many visuals and color combinations will make it hard to find the information they’re searching for. Creating a simple yet appealing website neither costs your pockets nor makes it hard for your audiences to contact you. Mobile-friendly Design Tablets and smartphones have overtaken desktop computers. So, creating a mobile-friendly design will ensure your website looks impressive on any screen size. Your audience does not feel lost, and it helps to scroll information from your website. Move from HTTP to HTTPS With massive data breaches becoming common in the internet world, your audience will be more concerned with security and privacy than ever. Converting your website from HTTP to HTTPS will protect their information. Also, it will help you get ranked on the Google search engine. Create Informative Content Content is the backbone of inbound marketing efforts. It’s how you can build a strong audience base for your business and convert them into leads. To market your business effectively, you need to provide informative yet relevant content at every stage. Think of creating a blog to inform rather than a sales tool. With this notion, your content will rank and stay on top of the mind throughout your customers’ buyer journey. This means your industry-related content has to be interesting and attract visitors to become your leads. To understand how your content needs to work, list these funnels of content ideas and try implementing them. Content Ideas: Top Funnel Include content in these ways: Blogs eBooks Industry research Social media posts Videos on factory products tour Content Ideas: Middle Funnel While the top of the content funnel is the widest, the middle of the funnel is often the deepest. It includes content type such as: Comparison guides Case studies ‘How to’ guides Content Ideas: Bottom Funnel The bottom funnel creates chances to close the deal and convert visitors/buyers into leads. This includes content ideas such as: Brochures Product reviews Call to action So, in the marketing competition landscape, many manufacturers are busy updating their inbound marketing strategies like you. Many others have overhauled their business. While you have a lot on your end, inspire yourself to create that excellent piece of content now! Invest in Marketing Technologies and Automation One way to grow your business through inbound marketing is automating your marketing efforts. This way, you can devote more time focusing on the bigger picture. There are tons of tools online to help organize strategies, create content, schedule emails, campaigns and publish to your website. Use them! Marketing technology usage can help your business to operate faster and more accurately. Here are some automation tools to use: G Suite: Google’s products are becoming just ubiquitous with a bonus—everything is in the cloud today. You can find your work easily and access it from any device. Also, manage all marketing efforts from one place and collaborate globally in no time with clients. Sales and Marketing CRM: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, like HubSpot CRM, gives you a quick view of your marketing funnel and sales channel. Not only does it enable transparency all across, but it gives you hours back in the day by starting different events and marketing flows automatically. Email Marketing: Emails are the most effective marketing channels in terms of ROI. Email usage endures growing around 4% year-over-year. And has no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In this case, many emailing tools are available. Like HubSpot is well known for its CRM and inbound marketing software. It boasts exceptional deliverability for emails. With about 2,000 email sends/month, contact lists, a drag-and-drop email builder, and ready-made templates, you can start right away. These are some examples to decide what's best for your industrial inbound marketing efforts. Get started today! Keep Tracking your Marketing Efforts You’re spending your time, energy, efforts, and resources on marketing to grow your business. So, it’s essential to track your marketing initiatives and see if it’s functioning as expected or not. Here are some crucial aspects with which you can keep track of your marketing program: Get an ROI measuring tool:For measurable goals, you’ll want to select KPIs to measure ROI. Some common ones include the cost per sale, per lead, overall marketing program, and overall customer relationship length. You can also set points for channel performance with campaign-specific KPIs, including email open rate or social media impressions. Google Analytics:This is a free tool. It will help monitor your website's health by tracking site metrics such as page views, visits, and clicks. With this, you can easily set up customized reports to monitor specific metrics of interest for your campaigns. Lastly, get a lead generation tool that tracks who is in-market for your services. How they’re interacting with your online presence and where they are in their solution journey. Inbound Marketing Case Study: Get Inspired! If you ask your competitors what their main goals are for their company, the answer would most likely be related to increasing sales and leads. Even if they mentioned other purposes, such as improving website performance and SEO or redesigning a website, the main objective would be to get more traffic. And it will lead to more sales. For Corrugated Metals, Inc., these were the goals. This manufacturing company deals in roll formation. It manufactures products for the equipment, construction, transportation, and defense industries. The company used inbound marketing strategies during the pandemic and found success with it, resulting in: Increased quality leads Increased sales revenue More opportunities from the manufacturing industry for long term sales potential Redesigned their website to bring design and UX (user experience) up to date and increase engagement Maintained and increased SEO Through the implementation of inbound marketing, the company saw a 198% hike in website traffic and an implausible 285% increase in leads. But that wasn’t all. The quality of leads radically improved by 321%. Since they were able to identify and target long-term sales prospects through persona-based targeting and lead nurturing, they lined up a potential million dollar per year customer. This created a possibility of 20 years of recurring sales. Let’s Recap In a nutshell, using these inbound marketing tactics can bring high revenues to your business. To recap: 1) PLAN! Do as much research as you can. Know your industrial customers. Find what’s trending. Analyze what worked, what didn't work, and why. And start with these ways to boost marketing for your business. 2) CREATE! Use the information as the backbone to create a stellar inbound marketing plan. Be patient, and do one project at a time. 3) OPTIMIZE! There are ways to improve. And if you’re testing correctly — no industrial marketing strategy will ever fail. In a recent 2020 Thomas Industrial Survey, there has been a 12% surge in website usage by manufacturers using inbound marketing campaigns to connect with more buyers and customers since the outbreak of COVID-19. Therefore, adjusting your manufacturing inbound marketing strategies today will perhaps help you win more business down the road. Frequently Asked Questions What manufacturers should follow to do inbound marketing? Manufacturers implementing inbound marketing should follow some crucial aspects before they start. These attract customers—don’t interrupt them, measure all activities, nurture leads, do SEO and social media activities precisely. What are the four stages manufacturing marketers should know about inbound marketing? There are a lot of relatable things to do inbound marketing. But along the top four things, manufacturers must know to drive business growth are attract, convert, sell and create leads. Does inbound marketing for manufacturing works? Absolutely. Inbound marketing for manufacturers has been fruitful. If you are willing to include it in your business, you will reap its benefits and see your business growing with time. Creating a proper strategy is foremost. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "WHAT MANUFACTURERS SHOULD FOLLOW TO DO INBOUND MARKETING?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Manufacturers implementing inbound marketing should follow some crucial aspects before they start. These attract customers—don’t interrupt them, measure all activities, nurture leads, do SEO and social media activities precisely." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "WHAT ARE THE FOUR STAGES MANUFACTURING MARKETERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT INBOUND MARKETING?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "There are a lot of relatable things to do inbound marketing. But along the top four things, manufacturers must know to drive business growth are attract, convert, sell and create leads." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "DOES INBOUND MARKETING FOR MANUFACTURING WORKS?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Absolutely. Inbound marketing for manufacturers has been fruitful. If you are willing to include it in your business, you will reap its benefits and see your business growing with time. Creating a proper strategy is foremost." } }] }

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Five Lean Manufacturing Principles to Empower Your Manufacturing Business

Article | December 16, 2021

Lean manufacturing is an operational approach used to create value. Businesses adopt lean manufacturing to improve productivity, reduce waste, increase customer value, and employee satisfaction. Many businesses are accelerating their adoption of lean principles and practices due to the emergence of the industry 4.0 transformation. As a result, companies such as Caterpillar, Intel, Textron, Parker Hannifin, and John Deere are all reaping the benefits of lean manufacturing. So, where did the idea of "lean manufacturing" first originate? In this article, you'll learn about the origins of lean manufacturing and its key principles. The Origins of Lean Manufacturing The principles of lean manufacturing were developed in Japan in the mid-20th century. Toyota, a famous Japanese automaker, experienced major delivery issues at the time. Its production chains were excessively long; thus it couldn't supply enough products on time. As a result, Toyota needed a new Performance measurement system. The company's managers identified a solution. They created a new project management method called the Toyota production system. Its basic idea was to improve product distribution by reducing waste. It was a good concept. It helped the company shorten manufacturing chains and deliver products faster. Toyota's production method created a simple and effective waste definition. Any step that did not improve the end product's functionality was called a waste. Later, other manufacturing industries adopted the system. It was renamed as lean manufacturing. It's now a global phenomenon and is used by large and small businesses worldwide. When should you implement the Lean Manufacturing Method in your business? Lean is a waste-reduction methodology, approach, and a lifestyle. While it is commonly used in manufacturing, lean techniques are applied to reduce waste while keeping high quality in any business. Waste reduction of 80% plus Reduced production expenses by 50% Decreased inventories by 80-90% Producing quality items is 90% less expensive. Workforce productivity improved by 50% If you want your business to get the above benefits, you need to adopt lean manufacturing principles. Five lean Manufacturing Principles Lean manufacturing benefits businesses in multiple ways, and this lean lifestyle has the potential to empower any organization and increase its market competitiveness. So, let us observe the five fundamental principles of lean manufacturing. Value For the first principle of defining customer value, it is vital to understand what value is. For customers, value comes from what they're willing to pay for. The customer's actual or hidden demands must be discovered. Customers are not aware of what they want or cannot express it. When it comes to new items or technologies, this is a regular occurrence. Assume nothing; ask about the pain points being experienced and then craft a unique value proposition. Never force a solution into a problem that does not exist.” – Thomas R. Cutler, President & CEO at TR Cutler, Inc. For example, you can use various methods to find out what customers value, such as surveys and demographic information. With these qualitative and quantitative methodologies, you may learn more about your clients' needs, their expectations, and their budgets. Value-Stream Identifying and mapping the value stream is the second lean principle. By starting with the consumer’s perceived value, all activities that contribute to that value may be identified. Waste is anything that does not benefit the client in any way. It can be divided into two categories: non-value-added and unnecessary waste. The unnecessary waste should be removed, while the non-value-added should be minimized. You can ensure that clients get exactly what they want while minimizing the cost of creating that product or service by removing unnecessary processes or steps. Flow The next operations must proceed smoothly and without interruption or delays after removing wastes from the value stream. Value-adding activities can be improved by breaking down tasks, reorganizing the manufacturing process, distributing the workload, and educating personnel to be flexible and multi-skilled. Pull The fourth lean principle requires a pull-based manufacturing system. Traditional production systems use a push system, which starts with purchasing supplies and continues manufacturing even when no orders are placed. While push systems are simple to set up, they can result in vast inventories of work-in-progress (WIP). On the other hand, a pull method pulls a customer's order from delivery, causing new items to be made and additional materials to be acquired. Kanban, one of the lean manufacturing tools, can help organizations develop a pull system to control material flow in a production system. An efficient pull system maximizes available space, reduces inventory, eliminates over-and under-production, and eliminates errors caused by too much WIP. Perfection While completing Steps 1-4 is a great start, the fifth and possibly most critical step is incorporating lean thinking and process improvement into your organizational culture. As benefits accumulate, it is vital to remember that lean is not a static system that requires continuous effort and awareness to perfect. Each employee should get included in the lean implementation process. Lean experts sometimes state that a process is not truly lean until it has undergone at least a half-dozen value-stream mapping cycles. How Nike Demonstrated the Benefits of Lean Principles Nike, the world-famous shoe and clothing powerhouse, has embraced lean manufacturing principles and practices. Nike experienced less waste and increased consumer value, as did other businesses. It also shared some unexpected benefits. It is proven that lean manufacturing can minimize terrible labor practices at a company's overseas manufacturing unit by up to 15%. This result was mostly due to implementing the lean manufacturing practice of valuing the workers more than earlier routine labor practices. It provided greater significance to an employee and, as a result, greater significance to the organization as a whole. Final Words Implementing lean manufacturing principles is a good way to run any organization. Businesses that build their operations on the two pillars of lean manufacturing, constant improvement, and personnel respect, are well on their way to becoming a successful and productive organizations in the modern era. To become a lean company, an organization must fully grasp the benefits and added value that it may get by adopting lean manufacturing principles. FAQ What is Five S's of lean manufacturing? The 5S of lean manufacturing are Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain, and they give a framework for organizing, cleaning, developing, and maintaining a productive work environment. What are the two pillars of lean manufacturing? Lean, as modeled on the Toyota Way values, has two pillars, first is ‘Continuous Improvement’ and second is ‘Respect for People’. Why are lean principles beneficial for any business? Lean manufacturing is a business strategy that has proven to be highly successful since it can help you decrease costs, remove waste, enhance production, maintain excellent quality, and thus increase business profit significantly.

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Why Manufacturing Companies Must Consider Business Intelligence

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. Final Words 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. FAQ 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

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Egyptian Warehouse Automation Leader Solves North American Supply Chain Disruption Challenges

Article | January 20, 2022

COVID drove many supply chain disruptions in 2021. This was particularly true for companies using Asia to source product. Sadly, the bottleneck continues in 2022, but there are new channels now available to serve the North American material handling market. System integrators, dealers, and distributors in the space cannot work with vendors who offer slow delivery timetables. Customers want shelving, racking, conveyors, and robotics no later than Q3 2022. MODEX 2022 provides answers to solve the supply chain disruption MODEX 2022 (March 28-31, 2022) in Atlanta, will once again bring many global manufacturers to the event. Nearly 800 exhibitors and 40,000 attendees will respect COVID health and safety protocols while learning about much needed solutions from a variety of global manufacturers. For the first time there is an African company exhibiting at MODEX: LinkMisr International. Booth #C5475

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Spotlight

Listers Group

Listers values and nurtures its relationship with it's manufacturing partners, not only ensuring their stability, but strengthening the peace of mind that they can offer their customers. The link between customers'​ cars and the people who made them, secures and bolsters the support that Listers Group can offer to their customers'​ vehicles.

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