Top Lean Manufacturing Tools D2C Manufacturers Need to Thrive

| January 28, 2020
TOP LEAN MANUFACTURING TOOLS D2C MANUFACTURERS NEED TO THRIVE
46% of SMB’s in the U.S. don’t track their inventory or use manual methods, such as using inefficient Excel spreadsheets. That means by simply adopting an MRP system into your business will put you ahead of nearly half of all U.S. SMB’s. With this much potential to overtake your competition, you can’t afford to waste time hesitating about using manufacturing process automation in your business.

Spotlight

OMEGA Engineering

The company sells more than 100,000 products used to measure temperature and humidity, flow and level, and pressure. Products include thermocouple probes and assemblies, pressure gauges and switches, and air velocity measurement systems. Omega also makes data loggers and recorders, as well as electric heaters. The company was founded in 1962. Omega Engineering is a member of Spectris, the productivity-enhancing instrumentation and controls company.

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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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Reshoring and Technology Platforms Transforming Hiring Practices in the Manufacturing Sector

Article | March 31, 2021

Everyday the supply chain is jeopardized. A freighter stuck in the Suez Canal has severe ripple effects in raw material goods making their way around the world. Trade tariffs and unpredictable consequences from COVID have encouraged many US manufacturers to reshore bringing jobs stateside. This strategy will shift the supply chain challenge to a staffing challenge. As the manufacturing industry is poised for rapid growth over the next 24 months, hiring the best workers once again becomes the top challenge. As the workforce is vaccinated and reshoring the supply chain becomes a clarion call for industry, finding the right people with the right skills forces plant managers, operations managers, and HR managers to find new and innovative recruiting strategies. FactoryFix is an online platform that matches vetted manufacturing workers with companies seeking specific skill sets. This platform sets a new standard in how small to mid-sized manufacturers hire talent across the U.S.

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Lessons Learned in Electronics Transforms Other Discrete Manufacturing Operations

Article | May 10, 2021

Jason Spera, picture left, recently shared his vantage of the changes for factory floor automation in 2021. Jason is CEO and Co-Founder, Aegis Software. Spera is a leader in MES/MOM software platforms for discrete manufacturers with particular expertise in electronics manufacturing. Founded in 1997, today more than 2,200 factory sites worldwide use some form of Aegis software to improve productivity and quality while meeting regulatory, compliance and traceability challenges. Spera's background as a manufacturing engineer in an electronics manufacturing company and the needs he saw in that role led to the creation of the original software products and continue to inform the vision that drives Aegis solutions, like FactoryLogix. He regularly speaks on topics surrounding factory digitization, IIoT, and Industry 4.0. Contact Jason on LinkedIn.

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Manufacturing Branding: A Ground-breaking Method for Increasing Product Sales

Article | January 19, 2022

Manufacturing branding is a relatively recent trend that is gaining traction in the manufacturing sector. Brand marketing is important for manufacturers in a variety of ways, including increasing business revenue and establishing product credibility within their target consumer group. 82% of people feel better about a brand after reading personalized content. 94% of customers are inclined to develop a relationship with a brand that is completely transparent. 13% of consumers would spend 31-50% more on your products or services if they believed your business was making a positive difference in the world. In this article, we will look at the advantages of branding to a manufacturer as well as how brand manufacturing may be established. What Difference Can Manufacturer Branding Make? "A brand is a voice, and a product is a souvenir" -Lisa Gansky, an American entrepreneur, writer, and speaker Your Name and Work Will Be Publicized Branding is the process of enriching your products with a visual, linguistic, and conceptual identity that differentiates them from competitors. Ideally, factory branding would help you reach out to your potential clients by making them aware of your company's name and becoming familiar with what you do. Brand Marketing Builds Emotional Bonds Manufacturing branding is more than merely developing an image in the minds of your customers. It's about telling a story that strikes a chord with them.Once you've defined your message and the motivation for developing your products, customers will be able to connect with you more easily.Relatability is critical in an era of ever-changing trends and consumer behavior. Your clients will simply switch over to another firm that provides the same service and fosters a sense of belonging. The emotional value of your manufacturing brands should not be underestimated. Building Trust Is Easier with a Strong Brand A manufacturing brand that wishes to remain in business for the long run will communicate with its customers. The customers understand that you would not connect or share your story unless you intended to grow with them. However, this strategy works only if the factory branding is well-executed and demonstrates its authenticity. Modern customers can easily notice dishonesty or the use of a phony character. Increase of Distribution Channels Working on your manufacturing branding will help you expand your sales. Just make sure you have the necessary tools to sell via different channels. Creating a memorable brand doesn't merely attract customers. It will also assist in attracting potential distributors who may otherwise be reluctant to be your distributing partners. Your ability to negotiate quality agreements with resellers and reps will increase when your manufacturing brand is well-known. It simplifies their lives and saves them money on marketing. This is a domino effect issue. More distributors mean more exposure for your business, but a delicate balance must be maintained. Your personal connection with clients may be lost if you abdicate brand responsibility. So, provide superior customer service to maintain a connection with your customers. Profit Margin Is Increased A strong manufacturing brand will allow you to sell at greater prices. People will be happy to pay for a quality brand that they can trust. But what would really set you apart from the rest is if you could beat private companies at branding. Private brands are the house brands of shops and huge resellers who offer cheaper copies of your goods. Customers should be able to tell the price difference between a factory brand and a private brand. "You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do." – Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company How to Build an Effective Manufacturing Brand? Identify Your Intended Audience Identifying your target demographic is the first step in intentionally building your brand. You can build a buyer persona of the typical user of your product or by analyzing your current consumer base. Consider their age, gender, industry, occupation, education, interests, etc. To grow your brand and market your products more effectively, you need to create a buyer persona. Conduct Competitor Analysis Following that, it would be advisable to analyze your competitors' brands. In various markets and with companies in general, there are many brand features that are unique and widely utilized, and it would be counterproductive for a corporation to highlight those elements. For example, many B2B companies take pride in their product quality, reliability factor, and personal touch. When everyone is highlighting the same brand qualities, you will need a unique approach to stand out. Developing a Central Theme A brand's central theme acts as a pillar. It summarizes your company's principles and objectives in a single statement, or perhaps one word. It's a lot simpler to come up with marketing ideas and campaigns that connect with your company's philosophy and seem like a part of the brand. Developing Your Brand's Individuality Now, imagine your brand as a person, considering the preceding phases. You may gather every piece of information possible. The more specific you are, the more solidity your brand identity will have. Brand themes may help you develop your brand's personality and story. Using themes, you may classify individuals and fictional characters based on a common set of personality qualities. These are commonly used in psychology and marketing. Creating a Visual Brand for Your Business Finally, create a visual illustration for your organization. This includes producing unique logos that represent your company's beliefs, selecting colors, designing your website and blog, and everything that can be related to visualizing your corporate brand. Get familiar with geometric and color psychology, look at what prominent brands and other firms in your industry have done, and get on board with a good graphic designer to create the materials. Best Channels for Manufacturers' Branding Many businesses utilize social media, blogging with SEO suggestions, and email newsletters to boost their online presence. Content is the most important consideration when adopting these marketing methods. Hire good specialists to assist you in understanding your buyer's persona and developing buyer-centric content to capture their attention and generate potential leads for your business.An active social media presence enables you to increase the number of followers on your social media sites and reach millions of people via these platforms. Furthermore, you can start weekly newsletters to keep your subscribers updated on the latest developments, campaigns, and how you're working to develop the best goods possible for your target groups. Final Words Effective branding for manufacturing is what you need to increase your company's popularity and demand in a competitive market. Once you've established yourself as a known brand in your sector, you may pursue manufacturer branding, which is used by many well-known manufacturers such as Ford, Nestle, Coca-Cola, and Apple. Use the above-mentioned techniques to create your own brand and stay ahead of the curve in your industry. FAQ What are the four elements of branding? A successful brand requires a strong brand identity, brand image, brand culture, and brand personality, all of which must be present. What is the manufacturer’s brand? A product that has the manufacturer’s name on it or is used to market and sell the product. What is manufacturers’ label? The manufacturers label provides name and address of the manufacturer or distributor and relevant hazard warnings.

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Spotlight

OMEGA Engineering

The company sells more than 100,000 products used to measure temperature and humidity, flow and level, and pressure. Products include thermocouple probes and assemblies, pressure gauges and switches, and air velocity measurement systems. Omega also makes data loggers and recorders, as well as electric heaters. The company was founded in 1962. Omega Engineering is a member of Spectris, the productivity-enhancing instrumentation and controls company.

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