I recently read an article from McKinsey mentioning that manufacturing organizations need to focus on resource productivity in order to be successful. They need to think lean, and all of that other stuff that we always hear about. That is a very tactical way of thinking and only applies to the manufacturing processes themselves. Of course manufacturers need to maximize the outcomes they produce through manufacturing, but the organizations themselves need to think differently.
They need to look at the market and their customers and determine what needs are not being met. They need to look at any additional services they can offer that would be of value to customers. They need to change the mindset of the organization to focus on operational excellence at all levels of the organization. They need to empower front line people to not only improve the current way they operate, but also suggest new ways of operating to increase profit.
The limitation with most manufacturing organizations is that they often only try to do what they are currently doing, only more efficiently. They look at manufacturing metrics, but not necessarily financial ones. Many don’t look at what else they could be doing. They still use the same approaches and methodologies they have been using for 30 years and wonder why they are struggling.
The question manufacturing organizations should be asking themselves is, “What opportunity am I not currently taking advantage of and how do we maximize outcomes from that opportunity?”