As Women’s History Month comes to an end, we’re taking a moment to honor the female voices of LeanDNA.
Almost 36 percent of supply chain leaders during our recent factory operations webinar with IndustryWeek said digital transformation in the factory means “standardizing and automating manual processes.” Frankly, I couldn’t agree more.
Whether it’s upgrading the factory floor with robotic assembly technology, providing wearable information technology to workers, or proactively predicting inventory needs with artificial intelligence solutions—standardization and automation are a top priority.
While most companies have made significant investments in modernizing and automating the factory floor, not many people are talking about the other part—you may call it the back office, or factory management, or factory operations. We call it the secret to unlocking a massive competitive advantage.
We’ve been talking a lot about digital transformation for the factory—specifically optimizing your factory management processes to make sure inventory is in the right place at the right time for your teams. In our dialogues with industry experts and innovators—as recently as last week in an IndustryWeek webinar featuring our team and Mike Louderback, VP of Operational Excellence at Morgan Advanced Materials—we’ve heard a lot of excellent questions about this transformation.
Here are the most common factory management inquiries and subsequent answers from the pros.
We always knew digital transformation in inventory management would continue to grow in the manufacturing space, but the unpredicted challenges amid COVID-19 catalyzed that need. In 2021, manufacturers are tasked with ramping production back to the place it was in 2019—a level that took decades for some to establish. These companies are turning to technology to quickly re-establish and sustain best practices critical in today’s complex supply chain. Cloud-based software, AI-driven technology, and smart, standardized work have gone from a nice-to-have to a company-wide mandate.
As manufacturers ramp back up and make their operations “disruption-proof,” here’s how I predict manufacturing will transform in 2021.