If your shop is off to a positive, full-out sprinting start to 2018, congratulations! For the rest of us who may still be trying to wrap our heads around the fact that it’s 2018 (where did 2017 go!), let’s embrace change and get busy implementing those New Year resolutions.
If you and your team executed an end-of-year evaluation of your shop and its procedures, that’s at least a good start. But now its February. Where are you in your steps to move the needle on those action items? Just like those first weeks at the gym in January where you might have been comparing yourself to everyone else, let’s do a little comparison shopping and see how your initiatives stack up to other manufacturers’ 2018 resolutions and goals.
Goal #1: Using the Cloud
Cloud computing isn’t just for storing a few files or your family pictures anymore. It is a massive piece of the technology pie that many manufacturers are using to get a leg up on the competition. It’s very beneficial for the small to medium-sized manufacturers because it enables them to connect their people, machines and devices simply and inexpensively. Check one off for 2018!
Goal #2: Upgrading to Real-Time Data to Be More Lean
Using the most current data is obviously better than guessing or using old metrics to plan for the future. If you haven’t yet invested in an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, this should be the year to educate yourself and your team about planning and implementing one. In order to truly get ahead in this competitive market, you must understand where your time and money go. With manufacturing software in place, you’ll have one system talking to every team member and machine. A manufacturing ERP system will help you simplify inventory and processes, reducing overages and optimizing your production. Who doesn’t want that for 2018?
Goal #3: Drive Innovation with R&D and Talent
Over the years in trying to cut costs, manufacturing has done itself a disservice in long-term innovation and ideation. Outsourcing and sending manufacturing overseas drove innovation out of North America as well. Since many western economies are tightly tied to being the creators of new and inventive products and services, we’ve harmed our prospects and potential for continuing to solve many of the world’s problems. With technology at our fingertips, we must bring research and development back home and give our young people places to stretch and grow the “what could be.”
Setting goals is easy. Making changes and actually keeping those goals is the hard part, right? Not if you have a plan and some accountability. Share your company goals with every team member and get their buy-in so they can better understand the changes that may be coming down the path. You might not only check off a few resolutions, you could also grow your profit margins as well!