Manufacturers are constantly told to innovate, innovate, innovate – but what does that mean for your specific industry, and is it possible to get innovation wrong? A well-known example of poor or over-innovation is this: NASA paid over a million dollars to design a pen that worked in space, while the Russians used pencils. The point is that, though innovation is often lauded as the answer to all a business’ concerns, you shouldn’t innovate for the sake of it. You should look seriously at your challenges and use sensible innovations to solve them.
Some companies feel powerless to make any changes to their processes, but there are some areas where a little investment could dramatically improve your future performance. Study after study show that employees who receive training, higher wages and who operate with better quality equipment are more productive and improve a company’s turnover dramatically. Training, specifically, could make the biggest impact to your manufacturing company, because it helps on two fronts. On the one hand, machine operators who are also trained to maintain and trouble-shoot machinery can keep productivity up self-sufficiently. While, on the other hand, the more training a company offers, the more realistic climbing the company ladder will seem to employees, greatly improving morale.
Many manufacturing companies, particularly those who are locked into a seemingly secure supply chain, don’t see any reason to engage seriously with marketing. However, security is often an illusion, and if you’re too reliant on a specific client then you’re putting your company at risk. Having a marketing strategy in place will improve your options, and you might find you can get a better deal by using another company. You can use the internet to find cost-effective solutions, such as content and social media marketing, and this will both reduce your dependency and give you opportunity to diversify or expand.
When you look at ways to innovate your technology, you’re giving your company the opportunity to improve its efficiency in a whole host of different ways. By utilizing digital technology, you can allow engineering, manufacturing and the supply chain to work together more effectively. Communication is the best way to enhance efficiency because all parties can be informed about any wasteful processes or ineffective strategies. Business like Hyla Soft offer manufacturing solutions that can help manage an organization’s manufacturing production processes and better utilize their resources toward a more efficient system. It might be that the best way to improve efficiency is to increase the extent to which your systems are automated, or it might be that you aren’t meeting delivery times because of poor planning.
One aspect of innovation is thinking on your feet, and being ready to adopt your strategy to whatever might be waiting for your company in the future. For example, during the meat adulteration scandal in Europe, rather than collapsing as many expected, the food industry changed its strategy. The food manufacturers that were successful after the scandal were the ones who didn’t ignore it, but instead marketed themselves as trustworthy, high quality vendors. You should always be somewhat flexible with elements of your strategy so that you can innovate in response to what’s happening within your industry.