With the right manufacturing strategy, you give direction to your "factory of the future" and remain successful in a competitive market.
A manufacturing strategy is a set of operational “capabilities”, which must be consistently in line with the company's competitive priorities. And these priorities have been chosen to be successful with your customers, and to systematically score better than your competitors. Many companies have already opted for an implementation of TQM, JIT, Lean, QRM, six sigma programs, etc., but none of these programs guarantee your success and can match a well thought out manufacturing strategy. Thinking that an excellent application of continuous improvement will stand as a guarantee for business success has often proved to be a mistake. It certainly supports good business operations, but does not replace the implementation of a manufacturing strategy. And this is certainly no easy process, because it forces you to choose ...
A manufacturing strategy gives us the direction: which operational strengths should we have developed in order to become stronger? If I have to be able to deliver orders faster, and have not developed the strength to produce faster, and therefore more efficiently, I will not gain much benefit from previous efforts to work completely digitally. That is the essence of the manufacturing strategy: it offers a long-term perspective to determine which unique strengths I need to learn to develop for the future. And strengths that are anchored in the organisation cannot be easily copied. After all, many of the competitive strengths of a company are deeply embedded in the operations.
The manufacturing strategy therefore sets out what we need in operational strengths, and this is not merely a listing of products, machines, processes. And, from here, we determine what the focus must be within the context of the “factory of the future”. And not the other way around.
Defining a manufacturing strategy is a process that we set up together with the company, and that starts from the customer and the market and its evolution. And the determination of how and on which points we are better than the competition. The Factory of the Future then becomes an excellent vehicle that mobilizes an organisation to turn the manufacturing strategy into reality.