The top 5 challenges for manufacturing companies

  • 12/01/2024

Manufacturing is no longer just manufacturing. Several challenges lurk ahead, and real-time data insights play an increasing role in decoding them. Read about the five most prevalent challenges for manufacturers – and how to work them out.

1. Mastering efficiency despite ever increasing product complexity

In manufacturing, competition is fierce, and maintaining healthy margins is an ongoing challenge. That’s why the pursuit of efficiency remains a cornerstone, shaping the growth trajectory of manufacturing enterprises. When the product complexity at the same time is increasing. The right balance is hard to find.

"The modern manufacturing landscape demands not only the elimination of redundant tasks but the optimization of each cog in the production machinery. This overarching quest for efficiency extends to the allocation of resources, minimizing wastage, refining operational workflows and much more"

At its core, manufacturing revolves around maximizing efficiency, ensuring great return on the invested capital. This requires a structured approach to resources, processes, and personnel. Most manufacturers are therefore tasked with balancing cost-effectiveness and quality output. Often, reliable IT systems that provide data insights in real-time remain the solution.

2. Staying ahead in production planning

One of the most central challenges for manufacturers lies in effective planning and the creation of a comprehensive overview. This involves the task of streamlining both machinery and manpower to optimize capacity. However, this challenge extends beyond efficiency. To be able to meet customer expectations - manufacturing companies must also cultivate agility to navigate various scenarios that demand swift adjustments.

"The process of manufacturing goes beyond procedural aspects. It also involves comprehending the consequences of your decisions, extracting valuable insights, and determining what to do next"

Accepting this continuous cycle of learning and investing in the right tools to manage it, empowers manufacturing companies to consistently enhance their practices and remain a step ahead of the competition.

3. Balancing environmental consciousness

Another great challenge faced by manufacturers involves environmental factors. As companies become more environmentally conscious, the need to balance production efficiency with sustainable practices becomes a crucial aspect of modern manufacturing, adding another layer of complexity. The shift has brought forth a pressing need to scrutinize the components and materials used in the production process to make sure they are viable in the long run.

– Many companies do not have the proper insights to discover that some components may become unusable due to environmental considerations. Manufacturers must maintain a vigilant overview of when components can be used or when they cannot, says Bo P. Winther and continues:

– The modern manufacturer must balance the technical aspects of production with the environmental requirements to deliver both efficient and sustainable solutions.

The journey to overcoming revenue losses caused by inefficiencies in manufacturing might be long. Nevertheless, an increasing number of manufacturing enterprises are actively implementing inventive strategies and advanced IT systems, to effectively optimize their production towards sustainability.

4. Keeping and attracting employees

The decrease of the working force is the decline in the workforce creates an increasing need for efficiency. This efficiency improvement can be achieved in several ways. One of the most effective is to reduce friction in work processes by making your business applications work for you, in a way where they support your business processes and simplify collaboration across departments.

 5. Creating actionable insights across the organization

As the above challenges show, the complexity is increasing - therefore it's also increasingly important, that you create the right insights for your employees across the company. Your employees in your engineering-, procurement-, production- and field service department all have different needs and their own set of challenges. Due to this complexity, your ERP-solution shouldn't stand alone any more - not all challenges is best solved from your ERP-solution. Therefore you should create a coherent end-to-end platform that can support all departments in your organization.

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