How to capitalize on the manufacturing revolution

Surrounded by constant miracles of technological innovation, the development of China as the manufacturing center of the world, and customers who are more demanding than ever, how does today’s manufacturer cope?

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By recognizing that the stage is set for a manufacturing revolution and capitalizing on it instead of wishing it would go away. Such was the advice Andy Chatha gave his audience in a presentation at the ARC Strategy Forum, held January 31 through February 3 and sponsored by the ARC Advisory Group. Though not addressed specifically to packaged goods manufacturers, Chatha’s advice is useful for manufacturers of all stripes.

Chatha, who is ARC Advisory Group president, believes manufacturers should look to three key enablers to help them capitalize on the manufacturing revolution: Knowledge Workers, Knowledge Management, and Optimally Utilized Assets.

People are tops

“Make your people a top priority,” said Chatha in his presentation. “Your investment strategy has been focused on physical assets, not human assets. Most people don’t have the right analytical and collaboration tools. They’re less effective [than they might be] because they work in information islands. You need to empower all your people, not a privileged few.”

The goal is to develop Knowledge Workers who constantly strive to improve performance, said Chatha. He went on to say that a Knowledge Worker…

  • Is information-empowered

  • Has access to powerful analytical and collaboration tools

  • Collaborates with others internally and with external partners

  • Is well-trained in company business processes to make quick decisions

  • Can see the direct impact of his/her actions on the company’s profitability

    As for Knowledge Management, Chatha defined it as

  • Doing the right things, not just doing things right

  • Delivering the right info to the right people at the right time

  • Understanding that knowledge must be constantly created, shared, and renewed

  • Capturing the experience and expertise of all workers

  • Basing actions on data, intuition, and experience

    With Knowledge Workers guided by Knowledge Management, a manufacturer is most likely to reach a state of Optimally Utilized Assets.

    Chatha left his audience with the following tips for capitalizing on today’s manufacturing revolution:

  • Form a Manufacturing Transformation team

  • Empower people with Knowledge Management

  • Unleash new product innovation and nurture a culture where innovation thrives

  • Optimize physical assets

  • Make Plant-to-Business Interoperability a top priority

  • Collaborate with peers and partners

  • Drive change with good business processes

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