Although it may sound like a self-serving finding, the U.S. Council on Competitiveness Deloitte study indicates that the best-performing manufacturers apply advanced technology better than their competitors do. They describe this capability 'the application of advanced IT,' as all encompassing, including systems within the organization that support production lines to applications that support global sales and marketing efforts.
Further, they note that the study finds that the best performing manufacturers also differentiate themselves from average and lower-tier competitors in their drive to invest time and money in an area where they do not necessarily have an advantage today - global sales and marketing capabilities. Manufacturing is still about making things it seems, but in the future the most successful manufacturers will excel in areas beyond the shop floor.
In the current economic environment, competition is getting more and more intense. With demand fairly constant or diminishing, manufacturers have to find new ways to squeeze out profits.
They are looking at new markets and new products to increase revenues. As a result, we are seeing an increase in acquisitions and new products.
They are looking at many different ways to decrease costs. Deloitte mentions: complexity reduction, organizational change management, product innovation, process improvement, program management, supply chain optimization, Lean and Six Sigma initiatives.
In spite of the buzzwords, this is the right time for manufacturers to look for ways to increase revenues and cut costs. If you can achieve success before your competition, you will increase your market share.
What is your company doing to increase revenues / decrease costs?