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 | January 4, 2022
Lead generation for manufacturers has always been tough due to a lack of knowledge about new technology and trends that can help them generate more business leads. There are still a lot of small and mid-sized manufacturing companies that rely on antiquated manufacturer lead generation methods.
In this article, we'll discuss some proven methods for generating leads that can help you increase your company's sales and improve your overall return on investment.
"Don’t think of your lead as "LEADS." Instead, think of them as people who are frustrated because understanding and buying your product is too hard. Your job is to make it easy for them to learn about your product and get started. "
—Andy Pitre, VP of Product, HubSpot
So let's get started.
Factors That Must Be Aligned to Drive New Business Leads
Landing pages are mini-websites embedded into your site. To deliver an experience that speaks directly to the user's intent, marketers use landing pages. Create unique landing pages for every industrial lead generation campaign.
To generate quality leads, you need to have a strong call to action (CTA). CTAs are usually buttons that allow users to submit information, visit a landing page, or download an e-book or white paper.
Your CTA must be compelling. Give your prospects a reason to click and remove any barriers to the click. CTAs should be bold, high-contrast, and easily identifiable.
Without forms, it is impossible to collect leads. Therefore, visitors will be asked to fill out forms that collect their contact information in exchange for an offer.
Every lead contains a transaction. A company provides a valuable service in exchange for a prospect's contact information. You won't get many leads unless you provide value to your potential customers.
This offer comes in the form of an e-book, consultation, coupon code, or whitepaper. To generate more leads, make compelling offers.
The above components can't exist if you don't have a website. If you want to emphasize your business, you need to generate quality leads. Why? Because most of today's B2B buyers are millennials, who are highly tech-savvy and increasingly conduct their supplier research online.
How to Generate Manufacturing Leads: 5 Effective Techniques
Create a Website That Converts
"The lead generation process starts by finding out where our target market ‘lives’ on the web."
– Wayne Davis
Your website should be a trusted source of quality leads. Unfortunately, many companies lose sight of this and develop websites that are cumbersome and difficult to browse, causing a rift between you and your potential customers.
Don't expect people to behave if your site doesn't encourage them to act. Your website should have clear "call to action" buttons and lead capture options that allow visitors to contact you in a simple and pleasant way.
Additionally, there are website optimization tools available, including PageSpeed Insights, Hotjar, Google Optimize, and WAVE. All of the above-mentioned website optimization tools provide complimentary services. So, this is the most accessible and most reliable approach to generating web leads.
Make Descriptive Infographics
Infographics are a great way to provide prospects with helpful information while motivating them to contact you. Most importantly, infographics establish your company as a thought leader and unconsciously identify you with industry authority.
According to recent surveys,
Nearly 41% of respondents indicated that infographics and illustrations are the most effective solutions for achieving their business objectives.
On social media, infographics receive three times the number of shares as other types of content.
Articles that included infographics received 72% more views than standard articles.
A great infographic has a great design. If your organization lacks an in-house graphics team, you can simply locate a freelance designer to create a stunning infographic for you.
Your infographics are ageless pieces of material that can be reused for smart marketing and lead generation manufacturing.
Here's an example of an infographic from Digital Marketing Philippines from 2019 that received over 1,600 shares and is jam-packed with data and text. In this way, you can see how the company may have gotten its leads from these 1600 shares, each of which is a potential customer.
Host an Event
According to Bizzabo,
86% of senior management (Senior Managers, Executives, and Board Members) believe that in-person events are critical to the success of their company.
The majority of B2B marketers (97%) believe in-person events have a significant impact on achieving business goals.
According to Marketing Charts,
68% of B2B marketers agree that in-person events aid in lead generation for manufacturers, while case studies help with lead conversion and acceleration.
Improve manufacturing lead generation through events that can occur both online and offline. Organize any kind of event to attract your target market while collecting contact information. Use live events to interact with consumers in real-time, answering questions, addressing objections, learning about your audience, and guiding prospects through the sales funnel. Consider webinars, workshops, seminars, meetups, and conferences.
Create a Value-Packed Newsletter
"Content is the fuel for your lead generation efforts."
– Dayna Rothman
According to the Content Marketing Institute,
31% of B2B marketers believe email newsletters are the most effective way to nurture leads.
81% of B2B marketers report that email newsletters are their most frequently used form of content marketing.
Create a must-read newsletter that invites interested prospects to engage and remain connected with your company. This enables you to stay top-of-mind with consumers and promote your products and services to move prospects along the sales funnel.
The newsletter can have new blog entries, product or service updates, special deals, upcoming events, and recommended reading from other thought leaders.
Incorporate SEO into Your Marketing Plan
According to Intergrowth,
61% of B2B marketers say SEO and organic traffic generate more leads than any other type of marketing.
Search engine leads convert at a rate of 14.6%, while outbound leads (cold calling, direct mail, etc.) convert at a rate of 1.7%.
Manufacturers are no exception when it comes to the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). As a result, you may generate many leads with the correct marketing approach and a profound grasp of SEO for manufacturers.
When we consider the statistics explained earlier in this article, we can see the benefits of all of the techniques mentioned and how they can help you increase your lead generation and, as a result, your overall business ROI.
Thus, we can refer to the above-mentioned lead generation techniques as sales-driven strategies that will assist you at every lead generation and conversion stage. Improved lead generation for manufacturers enables businesses to reach a vast customer base and generate more high-quality leads.
What is a high-quality lead in manufacturing?
Leads of high quality have an increased propensity to convert into paying consumers. The more qualified your leads are, the more likely they will buy your product or service.
What are the lead generation challenges?
Making accurate data, shaping conversations, and converting qualified leads into sales are some of the significant challenges in manufacturing lead generation.
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.
Article | December 8, 2021
Why should warehouses be left behind as everything gets smarter in the manufacturing world? The future warehouse will be smarter and more innovative to speed up supply chain management procedures and assist businesses in intelligently segregating their raw materials and manufactured goods.
So, what does it mean to have "a smart warehouse"?
A smart warehouse is a big infrastructure that stores raw materials and manufactured goods and employs machines and computers to handle routine warehouse tasks that humans previously performed. Smart warehouses are inspired by smart factories and operate in a data-driven environment. It is the ability of the system in the warehouse to make it more efficient and productive by utilizing networked, automated technology.
“I advocate business leaders get to know more about what AI can do and then leverage AI in proofs of concept.”
– Michael Walton, Director, Industry Executive (Manufacturing) at Microsoft
According to EASYECOM, nine out of ten businesses intend to include commercial service robots into their operations in some form. By 2025, it is projected that there will be roughly 23,000 robotic warehouses in the United States alone, up from only 2,500 in 2018.
Furthermore, the global smart warehousing market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.5 percent from USD 14.8 billion in 2021 to USD 25.4 billion in 2026, according to GlobeNewswire. As can be seen, the current warehouse automation trends are scaling up the worldwide market for smart warehouses, and the value of the smart warehouse business has a long way to go in the future.
So, what are the technologies that are changing traditional warehouses into intelligent warehouses? Continue reading this article to get a better understanding of this.
Top 5 Warehouse Technologies to Take On
Numerous manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations, including IKEA, NIKE, and WALMART, utilize smart warehouses to streamline their overall operations. The technologies listed below assist many of them in implementing the modern warehousing idea.
A Warehouse Management System
Warehouse Management Systems, or WMSs, are comprehensive software systems that consolidate all of your critical data onto a single platform that can be easily accessed by team members and selected supply chain partners. This data compartmentalization allows for lightning-fast reporting, which allows for super-efficient planning, even for unexpected events. Overall, the use of warehouse management systems complements the use of other automated aspects perfectly.
Automated Picking Tools
The days of error-prone picking are long gone; now, when picking automation elements are integrated into the flow, warehouses can profit from near-perfect picking rates. In addition, picking procedures can be aided by various techniques, including voice-automated order picking, pick-to-light, and robotic order picking. These technologies also use cutting-edge barcoding choices that easily interface with your selected management software to provide the quickest and most accurate automated reporting experiences.
Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)
AGVs, or automatic guided vehicles, are the best approach to speeding up storage and retrieval processes. AGVs are becoming more robust as technology advances, but older models have proven safer and more cost-effective than manual labor. Their functions include pallet, rack, and other container storage and controlling and automating the entire receiving process.
Platforms for Automated Inventory Control
Automated inventory control platforms, when combined with a few other technological cornerstones, such as asset and inventory tags, may eliminate labor, guesswork, and unnecessary time from traditional inventory control. In addition, there are several advantages to using these platforms, including their ability to automatically count inventories and synthesize data for real-time reporting that can be viewed remotely.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is used by some of the world's most efficient smart warehouses, such as Amazon, as an entire concept rather than a specific technology. All of your automated and manual operations may be optimized when IoT is used to control all of your moving parts, both automated and manual. This innovative technology helps optimize a warehouse's inventory control systems, workforce planning, and, of course, the overall customer experience.
While implementing technology improves the notion of a smart warehouse, it isn't always possible for every warehouse to do so instantly, especially since implementing technology takes significant financial and infrastructure changes. That's why warehouses are adopting the concept of collaborative robots (cobots). These are the autonomous elements that work with existing human workers. Cobots allow warehouses to preserve many of their existing procedures and infrastructure while gaining the benefits of fully autonomous elements.
Amazon's Smart Warehouses Integrates Humans and Robots
Amazon acquired Kiva Systems for $775 million in 2012, highlighting its interest in warehouse robotics. Kiva Systems was the sole known producer of warehouse robots, serving many different logistics organizations.
Amazon bought Kiva Systems' machines, constructed and used them all. Amazon Robotics is a new business unit that the company has developed.
Amazon recently established a semi-automated warehouse with human workers and robots. As a result, simple chores like moving parcels and scanning barcodes are automated. However, organizing goods and carrying complex objects (like bottles) is still part of human work.
Amazon's automated warehouse employs over 400 robots and hundreds of human employees.
Amazon's rise in two crucial areas – online shopping and logistics – has been accelerated by warehouse robots.
Modern warehousing is a new trend in the manufacturing industry that automates numerous procedures required for keeping manufacturing materials and products organized. Technology trends in warehousing are making manufacturers' jobs easier and promoting the future warehouse model in 2022. Implement the cutting-edge technology outlined above to stay current with warehousing trends and boost productivity, efficiency, accuracy, and flexibility for your personnel and their operations.
What are the key benefits of a smart warehouse?
A smart warehouse improves the warehouse's productivity, efficiency, and accuracy. It also allows personnel and procedures to be flexible.
What exactly is WMS?
A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software solution that handles the supply chain from the distribution center to the retail shelf.
What is COBOT?
Cobots are designed to work with people rather than replace them. Cobots are also known as people-focused robots. They can help humans simplify and improve their work.
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