Monday, October 1, 2012

Focus for Manufacturers

If your organization is a Manufacturer that is focused on streamlining operations, improving inventory and warehouse management, and improving customer service, then you must draw focus on and consider implementing mobile technology, business intelligence and analytics, and warehouse automation as part of your overall strategy.


There is no shortage of key areas to focus on in today’s tough economy.  In fact, the challenges really have not changed throughout history.  What does change is an individual company’s area of struggle and the constant flux in technology that is being used to address these challenges.

Mobile Technology is not just a convenient or passing fad.  It is the direction we are moving.  The evolving technology is enabling on-demand or cloud services in more affordable segments.  Some key areas that benefit are providing seamless integration, inventory tracking, shop floor management, capacity planning and product quality control.  Mobile sales force connectivity for remote workers and improved customer satisfaction (do not miss this important point – make your customers happy and they will not look else ware). 

Better service levels, more access to real-time information both in the office and remote results in major productivity boosts.

Business intelligence (BI) and analytics is another key area of focus.  Right now, buried in the depths of the information collected are trends and answers to forecasts and improved customer service.  Competitive advantages are literally at your fingertips, if only there were a convenient and dynamic way to get at the information.  Keeping abreast of competitors, sales forecasts, inventory changes and market trends are better done with the capture and reporting of information. 

Key pieces to BI are first having Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software that is capable of capturing the information, hopefully while reducing the manpower needed for collection, and reporting that information in a useful way.

Warehouse automation is on the dream board for most organizations.  Everyone envisions a completely automated warehouse, no labor overhead and complete and accurate inventory, shipments and happy customers.  Barcodes, RFID labeling and tracking, data capture, shop floor collection and full integration.    To accomplish a portion of this dream will require the previously mentioned Mobile Technologies and Business Intelligence. 

An organization needs to capture and analyze as much data/information as possible as quickly as possible.  Improvements are possible by leveraging data driven strategies.  But first, you have to capture the information.  Second, you need the tools needed to analyze the information.  And, this needs to be done as close to real-time as possible.  Not weeks later after-the-fact.

No one expects that you make a commitment to change, take a long weekend, come into work and flip a switch and you have an automated your organization.  Improvements mean evolving inventory management from a record keeping tactic to a more strategic business operation by driving major improvements in overall productivity while eliminating costly mistakes in the warehouse operations.

Gains come from productivity improvements and reduction of errors.

Specific areas of gains can be found in fully integrating operations while reducing the number of separate systems, automating as many processes as possible, plan and implement better by using the information available, reducing paperwork and the errors associated with manual handling of paper, improving inventory accuracy, and as mentioned earlier, incorporating the information collected to make better decisions in marketing and sales.

There are many how-to’s involved in improving operations for manufacturers.  First and foremost there needs to be a commitment to make a change.  Number one motivator here should be your customers.  Do what you need to do to keep them happy and referring new business.  All of the other reasons and ideas do not mean anything without a focus on your customers. 

I am repeating this point again, because it is that important. 

No other reasoning will motivate your team and generate the Return on Investment (ROI) you are hoping for without the primary focus of your intentions being on your customers.  That is it.  You must get this point and bury it in the core of any changes you want to make.

There are many ways Dolvin Consulting can help your team make improvements.  We focus on you, our customers, by helping you to focus on your customers.  There is no better time than now to explore how advances in technology can be used to improve your customer relations.  I can guarantee your competition is doing just that, right now. 

Let us help you move ahead.  We have a mutually invested future together.  No hype, no sales pitch, just question and answer to see if we can match solutions to your challenges.  Now is the time to contact us.  Help is just a phone call away.  If you do not like what you hear, just hang up. 


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