Tariff Volatility Requires Action

RICK CHAPPEL| July 15, 2019
TARIFF VOLATILITY REQUIRES ACTION
Volatility is deeply disliked by business leaders. Many manufacturers and distributors face the volatility caused by unpredictable tariffs on Chinese imports and warn of a potential calamity should the Administration’s trade war be expanded.

The uncertainty and exploding costs brought on by these tariffs are affecting business. The automotive, food, building products, electrical, chemical, and myriad other industries have been hit hard, interrupting pricing strategies and overall profitability. New planned tariffs will target consumer goods, but B2B companies have already been broadly affected in costs across the supply chains.

According to Seeking Alpha, “The value of imported goods from China represents about 15% of the value added to US manufacturing.” Those input costs have been rising, creating a ripple effect that impacts almost every business in the manufacturing supply chain.


Raising prices across the board in an effort to preserve margins may be tempting.  However, the market remains volatile as tariffs affect separate product components in different ways. Customers may be prone to shop your competitors who may have chosen to eat some or all of the tariff costs, as well as look to source cheaper goods from foreign markets unaffected by tariffs. There is a risk of a sharp sales decline as well as long-term damage from carrying a reputation as overpriced provider reputation. Lydia Di Liello of Capital Pricing Consultants warns there is also the risk of quality degradation from cheapened or unknown supply sources.

Since the length of market turbulence cannot be predicted, the duration and depth of depressed margins also becomes unpredictable. Tariffs are visible market-wide and commensurate price adjustment is easily explained to customers. Price changes can become harder to explain when they are separated from a causal event. Di Liello added, it is critical that these tariffs be captured in some form (price increase or tariff surcharge) to protect profitability in a timely manner. Customers need the ability to track price movement (or tariff surcharge) in tandem with the tariffs for credibility. Not all customers feel the identical impact of tariffs to the prices presented. Price variation must be based on a case-by-case relationship with a specific customer.

Some businesses may be more severely affected by softening markets. Where impacts are more extreme, good managers must take action to preserve the profitability of the company. Non-essential expenses may be cut, and in more severe situations, headcount may be reduced.

During demand softness, costs that were palatable during growth inevitably come under the microscope, as they should. A good price optimization solution becomes an even more critical tool in this environment. While price optimization is often thought of as a method for determining the highest possible price palatable to a customer in a growth environment, optimization solutions also determine the lowest price reduction necessary to retain available business. It prevents reactionary over-discounting and helps achieve the maximum possible profit in a revised volatile market environment. By not over-discounting in response to market softness, companies avoid unnecessary cost-cutting actions.

Di Liello suggests that once discounting becomes a cultural norm, companies stand to lose multiple points of margin as every past deal declined (for poor margin) gets reinstated at even lower prices and margins in a desperate attempt to generate revenue.

Price optimization helps maintain the highest margins in the best and worst of times. Zilliant’s Price IQ leverages AI (Artificial Intelligence) to determine the least discount needed to maintain as much business as possible. The AI solutions pulls in data from a wide variety of internal and external sources to model the right start/target/floor prices for every SKU and every customer.

Tariff volatility emphasizes the need for price guidance that maximizes the profit available, even in a down market. This is invaluable when inputs are uncertain, and far beyond the capacity of manual price-setting. When the company strategy is to maintain share during a downturn, dropping prices across the board may be quick to implement and even feel decisive, but it has an unnecessarily negative effect on profit and revenue.

Blanket price decreases don’t work
Pricing intelligence informs companies exactly how much to drop prices and keep plants utilized and warehouses moving units, without unnecessarily giving away margin.

Find the sweet spot
It is important to remember that price elasticity still exists in a down market. These conditions make it even more important to determine willingness to pay. One must identify the products in which prices can be raised to offset others that are lowered. To find that pricing sweet spot, companies need true elasticity and price sensitivity analytics.

With pricing intelligence demand modeling, companies quickly visualize sensitivity to price and volume changes. It is often smart to make a margin play on an insensitive product by raising the price above tariff costs. With the same strategy, sensitive products will stay on the shelf. Running different strategies concurrently for different products to account for elasticity, only works with real data awareness; this only works by leveraging multiple sources of data to monitor all available price sensitivity signals.

Tariff volatility requires action
The volatility from tariffs mandates an agile and evolving strategy with price optimization. Only when companies run data-driven scenarios and forecast potential outcomes are they able to minimize layoffs and maintain shareholder value.


Learn more about how price optimization tools can help manage tariff volatility.

Spotlight

Magna-Power Electronics, Inc.

Magna-Power Electronics, Inc. was founded in 1981, initially focused on contract research and development in the fields of power electronics and magnetics. Magna-Power Electronics, under pressures of quick design cycles, developed a strong capability for designing and prototyping custom power supplies and manufacturing magnetic components in small volumes. Our customers, seeing the quality of our workmanship, demanded production quantities of our designs. To satisfy this need, Magna-Power Electronics evolved into a products based manufacturing company.

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Manufacturing Production Planning and Control: What, Why, and How?

Article | January 3, 2022

Production planning and control are critical components of any manufacturing organization. It helps organizations with the regular and timely delivery of their goods. Furthermore, it allows manufacturing businesses to increase their plant’s efficiency and reduce production costs. Numerous software and tools for production scheduling and planning are available on the market, including Visual Planning, MaxScheduler, and MRPeasy, which assist manufacturing organizations in planning, scheduling, and controlling their production. According to KBV Research, the manufacturing operations management software market is anticipated to reach $14.6 billion by 2025 globally, expanding at a market growth of 10.2 percent CAGR during the forecast period. So, what exactly is production planning and control? Production planning is an administrative process within a manufacturing business. It ensures that sufficient raw materials, personnel, and other necessary items are procured and prepared to produce finished products according to the specified schedule. Scheduling, dispatch, inspection, quality control, inventory management, supply chain management, and equipment management require production planning. Production control makes sure that the production team meets the required production targets, maximizes resource utilization, manages quality, and saves money. “Manufacturing is more than just putting parts together. It’s coming up with ideas, testing principles and perfecting the engineering, as well as final assembly.” – James Dyson In oversize factories, production planning and control are frequently managed by a production planning department, which comprises production controllers and a production control manager. More significant operations are commonly monitored and controlled from a central location, such as a control room, operations room, or operations control center. Why Should You Consider Production Planning? An efficient production process that meets the needs of both customers and the organization can only be achieved through careful planning in the early stages of production. In addition, it streamlines both customer-dependent and customer-independent processes, such as on-time delivery and production cycle time. A well-designed production plan minimizes lead time, the period between placing an order and its completion and delivery. The definition of lead time varies slightly according to the company and the type of production planning required. For example, in supply chain management, lead time refers to the time required for parts to be shipped from a supplier. Steps in Production Planning and Control Routing The first stage of production planning determines the path that raw materials will take from their source to the finished product. You will use this section to determine the equipment, resources, materials, and sequencing used. Scheduling It is necessary to determine when operations will occur during the second stage of production planning. In this case, the objectives may be to increase throughput, reduce lead time, or increase profits, among other things. Numerous strategies can be employed to create the most efficient schedule. Dispatching The third and final production control stage begins when the manufacturing process is initiated. When the scheduling plan is implemented, materials and work orders are released, and work is flowing down the production line, the production line is considered to be running smoothly. Follow-Up The fourth stage of manufacturing control ascertains whether the process has any bottlenecks or inefficiencies. You can use this stage to compare the predicted run hours and quantities with the actual values reported to see if any improvements can be made to the processes. Production Planning Example Though production planning is classified into several categories, including flow, mass production, process, job, and batch, we will look at a batch production planning example here. Manufacturing products in batches is known as "batch production planning." This method allows for close monitoring at each stage of the process, and quick correction since an error discovered in one batch can be corrected in the next batch. However, batch manufacturing can lead to bottlenecks or delays if some equipment can handle more than others, so it's critical to consider capacity at every stage. Example Consider the following example of batch production planning: Jackson's Baked Goods is in the process of developing a production plan for their new cinnamon bread. To begin with, the head baker determines the batch production time required by the recipe. He then adjusts the bakery's weekly ingredient orders to include the necessary supplies and schedules the weekly cinnamon bread bake during staff downtime. Finally, he creates a list of standards for the bakery staff to check at each production stage, allowing them to quickly identify any substandard materials or other batch errors without wasting processing time on subpar cinnamon bread. Final Words Running a smooth and problem-free manufacturing operation relies heavily on a precise production planner. Many large manufacturing companies already have a strong focus on streamlining their processes and making the most of every manufacturing operation, but small manufacturing companies still have work to do in this area. As a result, plan, schedule, and control a production that will enable you to run your business in order to meet its objectives. FAQ What is the difference between planning and scheduling in production? Production planning and scheduling are remarkably similar. But, it is critical to note that planning determines what operations need to be done and scheduling determines when and who will do the operations. What is a production plan? A product or service's production planning is the process of creating a guide for the design and manufacture of a given product or service. Production planning aims to help organizations make their manufacturing processes as productive as possible.

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How Can Manufacturers Redefine Marketing Strategies in the Age of COVID?

Article | April 27, 2021

What do you need to create a killer B2B marketing plan or scale it to support a new marketing business in the age of COVID-19? Many manufacturing companies struggled when the coronavirus started. Some of them paused all marketing activities, waited for the lockdown to end, and then made up for potential losses. Looking at this situation, where does your business stand when it comes to marketing planning in 2021? Simply copying and pasting the old calendar, changing dates and campaign names will be far from being sufficient for the years ahead. Instead, establishing steady and tangible SMART B2B manufacturing marketing goals, which are specific, measurable, relevant, time-bound, and flexible, is crucial for marketers. And such goals should be made every quarter and bucketed under a planned manufacturing marketing strategy. Aren't you sure what to include in your B2B manufacturing marketing plan? Read on the following ideas that will help you do marketing in the age of COVID-19. Redefine your Budget Season As marketers in industrial manufacturing face planning failures such as inevitable spreadsheets, board meetings, sales, and client handling that accompany for an entire year, they're also facing dwindling budgets. So, redefining your manufacturing marketing budget in 2021 will be one of the most important aspects of marketing for manufacturers. Digital Marketing AMA's latest CMO Survey found that manufacturing marketers anticipate an 8.4% rise in digital marketing spending throughout 2021. What is your digital marketing goal in 2021? Generate double-digit leads for products and services? Promote or launch a new product or service? Expanding reach by ranking in Google's first search engine result page (SERP)? Creating a proper digital marketing plan will leverage to know beyond its tip of the ice. The digital platform will keep your marketing activities on track and in one place, and you will see what's working and what doesn't. This way, you can create a solid budget to implement digital marketing in your marketing business. Customer Experience A survey found that customer experience expenditure surged 10% from past years after companies started marketing budgeting. This prominently included A CRM (customer relationship management) platform. So, including a CRM will benefit your business to track and manage contacts present in your marketing pipeline. Social Media Platforms Interestingly, social media expenditure has soared by 74% since February 2021, and the investment by other manufacturers has paid off. Manufacturers report that social media has contributed to the company's performance 24% more after the pandemic. In general, 62% of marketers report that the importance of social media marketing for manufacturing has grown during the pandemic due to its critical role in reaching customers digitally. It's clear that companies that already implemented digital marketing see the value of budgeting for social media, which increased the positive results of marketing. So, when you set up a new budget, include social media to grow your business. 5 Things to Consider while Marketing your Business A Lead Scoring Model One of the most important aspects of marketing in manufacturing is implementing a lead scoring model. Investing in it will allow you to see through the valuable metric of your leads that will make you determine which ones are qualified. Metrics include your ideal customer's demographics such as company size, revenue, industry, and main pain points. Also, these have a number of website visits, specific page views, content downloads, contact forms, emails unlocked, engagement with social posts, and more. Regularly evaluate your lead scoring model and update to ensure your metrics are closely related to your ideal prospect. It would lead both sales and marketing for manufacturers to identify valuable leads in your database easily. Invest in A Video Marketing Strategy Video Marketing is a great deal. As per Cisco's research, by 2021, videos will account for 80% of all internet traffic. In addition, being one of the internet’s traffic sources, it’s practical and reasonable. Video marketing for manufacturers has been profitable by 83%. From creating more leads per year to a rise in sales, 80% say that video marketing has aided their business significantly. If you haven't invested in video marketing yet, or if you've only dipped your toes in the water, 2021 is the year to dive in completely. As per HubSpot's 2020 State of Marketing report, video beats content forms like blogging, email, and infographics. Also, video is the most-used marketing content type for manufacturers. So, there are many tools and resources that make it easy to get started with video marketing. Videos help to sell industrial manufacturing products and create a brand story. So, think about it and include this when budgeting your marketing plan. Move Beyond Basic Marketing Analytics Through digital marketing, manufacturing marketers have been trying to determine the ROI of their efforts. But do you know that most of them have been doing a lousy job? That's because they, and the tools they use, tend to focus on things that don't matter. These include views, clicks, etc. More than 600 manufacturers and industrial companies in the U.S. have learned that their marketing and sales are going wrong. Out of which, 35% of manufacturers are not using an analytics tool like Google Analytics. So, it is advisable to move beyond basic marketing analytics to track how much traffic is coming to your website. The latest tools can identify companies visiting and allow salespeople to engage them in their research phase. It will result in creating and maintaining promising relationships with clients. Content Isn't Optional A rock-hard content marketing plan is the core of your online business's success. Keep in mind; a few blogs are not sufficient to get accurate results! Creating content helps (by answering) your potential buyer's queries in their research process and throughout their buying journey. A survey found an online search or a blog acts as a key source for finding answers to questions. As most sales are happening online now, Hubspot suggests that manufacturing businesses' sales will surge incredibly in 2021. An average B2B manufacturing marketing has involved 68% of stakeholders. Prospects are now making more decisions by reaching out to a company than ever before because they want your website and social channels to educate them completely. If they can't find the information on your owned channels, they might turn to your competitor's website instead. This makes content the most important aspect of marketing. When it comes to steady and consistent lead generation for b2b manufacturers, content is at the front and center of all the B2B manufacturing marketing trends. So, take content seriously instead of keeping it just as an alternative. What's Important for 2021? Plan in quarters Many companies create full-year planning calendars in November and December. The pandemic in 2020 has taught us that to plan too ahead in advance can get your business to flow in the wrong direction. Because who knows whether those plans or events would fall digitally or be back to in-person. Will your target audience be as approachable as to emails and webinars or not? So, plan your marketing things quarterly from annual to ensure your business leads in the right way. Audit Constantly It's not advisable to keep an eye on one particular marketing metric, for example, tracking traffic to your website. Instead, it's the whole picture that matters. 2021 is the year to evaluate every goal, every channel, and every message related to your business. With this, think about creating a big picture as well—company positioning and values, competitive research, and even business goals. Here are some standard audit actions recommended: 1. Conversion rates Visitors converting to leads Leads converting to customers 2. Email engagement Number of sent emails Deliverability metrics Subscriptions/unsubscribing 3. Revenue attribution audits How much revenue can be credited to marketing campaigns? 4. Campaign success How did all of the individual elements of your campaign perform? That includes: The site and landing pages Email marketing Paid ads and PPC Social messages How did the campaign perform against other campaigns? 5. Social media audit Engagement by channel Overall reach and growth 6. Funnel audit How effectively contacts are moving through the funnel In addition, conduct an audit and analysis vertical to ensure all the automation is taking place or running appropriately. Doing it will help your marketing team keep a constant check on all the processes and cater to you with exact marketing activities. Keep this activity active throughout the year. Continue Shifting Budgets—Don't Be Afraid Much of 2020 has been experimental in marketing for manufacturers. Many manufacturing companies moved away from in-person events to a webinar, shifted expensive prospect meetings to internet meetings, trade events to PPC, website, and content creation. In these cases, you might have to shift your budgeting when needed. Consider revising the budget to create advertorials, creative virtual events, and strategic lead generation tools if you plan in quarters. Along with these, 2021 brought a good time to invest even in intent data, ABM, SEO, and other automated technologically advanced digital initiatives. According to a recent study, manufacturing companies are now 21% more likely to invest in automation and technology. As they are now inclined towards the use of webinars & virtual events (20%), search & social media (14%), and website (12%). All of these increased in light of COVID-19. So, start planning for what's sure to have a better year ahead with your marketing strategies. Frequently Asked Questions What is the role of marketing in the manufacturing industry? Marketing plays a pivotal role in the manufacturing industry. Through marketing, customers are well informed about products or services a company offers. Also, marketing helps in building the brand name, awareness, and visibility of a company. How to use social media marketing in manufacturing? Social media marketing in manufacturing can be ideally used in these ways: Choose right platform Share useful content Create advertisements Create creative posts Connect with in-market participants Encourage engagement Create videos and share Address problems and provide solutions through content What are the important aspects of marketing for the manufacturing industry? Being the crucial part of any company in the manufacturing industry, essential aspects of marketing are: Website Brand name Platform Promotion SEO Sales How can Email Marketing help to market in the manufacturing industry? Email marketing in the manufacturing industry can help by creating informational content. Start from offering subscription options to potential customers, clients, and visitors. Send updates, information, an overview of the company's services and products to aware the reader and convert them into loyal customers. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "WHAT IS THE ROLE OF MARKETING IN THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Marketing plays a pivotal role in the manufacturing industry. Through marketing, customers are well informed about products or services a company offers. Also, marketing helps in building the brand name, awareness, and visibility of a company." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IN MANUFACTURING?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Social media marketing in manufacturing can be ideally used in these ways: Choose right platform Share useful content Create advertisements Create creative posts Connect with in-market participants Encourage engagement Create videos and share Address problems and provide solutions through content" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF MARKETING FOR THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Being the crucial part of any company in the manufacturing industry, essential aspects of marketing are: Website Brand name Platform Promotion SEO Sales" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "HOW CAN EMAIL MARKETING HELP TO MARKET IN THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Email marketing in the manufacturing industry can help by creating informational content. Start from offering subscription options to potential customers, clients, and visitors. Send updates, information, an overview of the company's services and products to aware the reader and convert them into loyal customers." } }] }

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Did You Read about the Manufacturing Challenges for 2022?

Article | December 8, 2021

The new manufacturing industry outlook for 2022 is what businesses desire. Due to COVID-19, the sector has seen several ups and downs in recent years. But the industry overcame the most difficult situation by adopting innovations as their working hands. But all this upgrading and digitalization in manufacturing isn't for everyone. Some manufacturers may struggle with this change, while others may not. So, taking into account all industry segments, we have compiled a list of potential manufacturing challenges for 2022. “Many companies simply are not willing to change or think they are done once they make a change. But the truth is that technology, consumer demands; the way we work, human needs and much more are constantly changing.” – Michael Walton, Director, Industry Executive (Manufacturing) at Microsoft The summary of manufacturing industry challenges and industry outlook for 2022 are presented in the stats below. According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), four million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed over the next decade, and 2.1 million will likely go unfulfilled unless we motivate more people to pursue modern manufacturing occupations. According to PTC, 70% of companies have or are working on a digital transformation plan. According to Adobe, 60% of marketers feel technology has increased competitiveness. The statistics show that while digitalization facilitates the process, it also poses several challenges that must be addressed in the coming years. Let's explore what obstacles manufacturers may face in 2022. The Manufacturing Industry Challenges in 2022 The manufacturing business has had a difficult few years as a result of the current economic downturn, and 2022 may not be even that smooth. Thought, technology, and current trends make the operations of upscale manufacturers easier, but not everyone is on the same page. Let's look at some of the manufacturing challenges that businesses will face in the next year. Skilled Labor Shortage The manufacturing industry is facing a workforce shortfall as a skilled generation prepares to retire. Industry experts say that by 2025, there will be between 2 and 3.5 million unfilled manufacturing jobs. As a result of the advancement of new technologies, manufacturing organisations are finding themselves with fewer personnel. They do, however, require individuals with a diverse range of abilities, such as mathematicians and analytic thinkers, to accomplish the tasks with precision. Specific manufacturing tasks have been automated to save time and money. Industry has adopted machine sensors to capture large amounts of data. With this kind of innovation, the industry's job structure is changing and the desire to hire an untrained or trainable workforce is slowly fading in the industry. However, using augmented reality and virtual reality, manufacturers can easily train personnel for the job and save money. Lack of Ability to Mine Data Manufacturing is progressively using IoT. The majority of businesses have already installed or are planning to install Internet of Things machines. These smart machines let businesses collect data to improve production and conduct predictive maintenance. But getting data is a simple task. The difficult aspect is analyzing and aggregating data. Despite possessing the machines, most companies lack the systems to analyze and retrieve the data recorded by the systems. In this way, the industries are missing a vital opportunity. The industry must improve data mining capabilities to make better decisions in real-time. Using IoT for analytics and predictive maintenance is critical. Monitoring technologies can help the sector examine data quickly. It can also help predict an asset's maintenance period. As a result, the industry will move from replacement to predict and fix. Self-service Web Portals That Is Extremely Detailed and Precise Manufacturing businesses usually strive for on-time order delivery and optimum revenue. However, consumer self-service, which has been in the industry for a long time, has never proven to be a simple walk for clients. Clients are frequently required to pick up the phone and contact manufacturers in order to track their orders and receive delivery estimates. This is hardly the service one would expect from a manufacturer, even more so in today's digital era. The term customers in manufacturing include partners, end-users, and subcontractors. These three clients have distinct requirements and concerns about collaborating with the manufacturer. Companies can better serve their customers if their partner and end-customer portals are linked to a central hub which we can mention as self-service web portals. All of the information and updates they need about their orders will be available to them through this new system. They can track, accept and amend their tasks. They'll also use the self–service portal to contact the manufacturer. In this way, manufacturers can better serve their customers. A system like this will ensure that all parties have access to timely information in a digital format. Meeting the Deadline for the Project Product launch timelines are extremely demanding, tight, and stringent. Every project in the assembly line is about cost, time, and quality. Ultimately, these projects are rigorous and well-controlled. Manufacturers who fail to meet deadlines risk losing millions in potential revenues and sales. Due to rigidity and stringent control, companies are less able to change project scopes or make adjustments as projects develop. The majority of initiatives begin with a design commitment. As new facts or change criteria emerge, adjustment flexibility decreases. This can be aggravating for a team that expects high-quality results. Deadlines are always a constraint. Effective Business Digital Marketing Strategy An industry's key digital transformation challenges are driving leads, sales, and MRR through digital channels. Many manufacturing organizations struggle to efficiently use marketing channels like paid media, enterprise SEO, local SEO, content strategy, and social media. In our opinion, one of the most significant issues these organizations have is their digital experience, website design, and overall brand presentation. They can't ignore them if they want to keep enjoying the manufacturing revival. Visibility of the Supply Chain Manufacturers must respond to the growing demand from customers for greater transparency. In order to meet customer demand across the customer experience and product lifecycle, they must first understand that precise and real-time visibility throughout the supply chain is essential. All details must be taken into consideration by the manufacturers. They must be aware of any delays in the arrival of products on the market. Keeping abreast of such developments would give them a leg up in terms of adjusting or rectifying the situation. Final Words Manufacturing industry challenges have long been a part of the industry. However, industry leaders and professionals have always confronted and overcome any challenges that have come their way. The year 2022 will also be a year of achievements, setting new records, and growth for the manufacturing industry, since it will be a year in which it will develop solutions to all of the aforementioned challenges. FAQ What is the future of manufacturing? Manufacturers should start using AI, block chains, and robotics today. The combination of these new technologies will reshape manufacturing. A new workforce capable of augmenting these technologies is developing and will become the future of manufacturing. How will automation affect manufacturing in 2022? When applied properly, automation can greatly assist manufacturing. These benefits include shorter production times, faster and more efficient work than human labor, and lower production costs. How is the manufacturing industry’s market likely to upsurge in the future? According to BCC Research, the global manufacturing and process control market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3 percent from $86.7 billion in 2020 to $117.7 billion in 2025. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the future of manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Manufacturers should start using AI, block chains, and robotics today. The combination of these new technologies will reshape manufacturing. A new workforce capable of augmenting these technologies is developing and will become the future of manufacturing." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How will automation affect manufacturing in 2022?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "When applied properly, automation can greatly assist manufacturing. These benefits include shorter production times, faster and more efficient work than human labor, and lower production costs." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How is the manufacturing industry’s market likely to upsurge in the future?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "According to BCC Research, the global manufacturing and process control market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3 percent from $86.7 billion in 2020 to $117.7 billion in 2025." } }] }

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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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Spotlight

Magna-Power Electronics, Inc.

Magna-Power Electronics, Inc. was founded in 1981, initially focused on contract research and development in the fields of power electronics and magnetics. Magna-Power Electronics, under pressures of quick design cycles, developed a strong capability for designing and prototyping custom power supplies and manufacturing magnetic components in small volumes. Our customers, seeing the quality of our workmanship, demanded production quantities of our designs. To satisfy this need, Magna-Power Electronics evolved into a products based manufacturing company.

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