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The Driving Metrics behind America's Manufacturing Renaissance

America’s manufacturing sector is currently in the midst of a renaissance.  Following a troubled worldwide market in 2009, the industry today has been forced to continuously improve due to changing demand, increases in labor and energy costs and new developments in automation to the production line.  In recent years we have seen the bar raised again and again in regards to tackling these recent developments in our new economy.

There are a number of means as to which these improvements are being realized, many of which were outlined in a recent survey from MESA International and LNS Research called “Metrics that Matter”.  Below, we’ll take a look at the key factors that are allowing the 200 manufacturing leaders that participated to drive the industry forward into the bright and optimistic landscape of tomorrow.

In the “Metrics that Matter” survey, manufacturing leaders were questioned on topics related to annual improvements that led to their success during 2013.  These questions were broken down into eight categories that included efficiency, innovation, inventory and more.   We find it encouraging that each manufacturer interviewed reported improvement in 2013 over 2012 in every category listed and their answers reflect the positive outlook as we near the halfway point of 2014.  Let’s look at a breakdown of each category and how the industry leaders responded.

Financial: 8.6% Improvement Over 2012

Every manufacturer is interested in reducing operational costs and improving their bottom line.  Just as important is meeting project deadlines and maintaining product quality.  These factors are why we believe the overall improvement of the financial category for all manufacturers surveyed is an important “tell” into the financial health of the manufacturing sector.

Highlights: 16% of the top performers who introduced new products to their manufacturing process reported an improvement in financials versus 8.6% for all other.

Inventory: 15% Improvement Over 2012

No manufacturer wants inventory sitting on their warehouse shelves collecting dust.  Improvements in this category can be attributed to popular programs such as Just-in-Time initiatives, ERP programs and SCM programs to make companies more efficient in managing inventory control chains.

Innovation: 7.8% Improvement Over 2012

Innovation is what drives the heart of the manufacturing industry.  Improvements in capabilities and new technologies such as integrating robotics into the manufacturing process help leaders of industry achieve innovations that help drive their companies break through to the next level.

Highlights:  72% of the companies interviewed reported successful new product introductions (NPI) into their manufacturing process with the top 7% of those achieving 90% or better success rate with NPI’s

Responsiveness: 10% Improvement Over 2012

There’s no doubt that a company’s ability to respond faster with a solution will allow them to attract new customers and outperform their competition.  A production line that is efficient and responsive is no longer an option but a necessity as robotics automation systems become more prevalent on manufacturing floors across the country.

Efficiency: 17% Improvement Over 2012

It goes without saying that improvement in efficiency directly leads to stronger financial performance.  The companies interviewed improved company efficiency by fine turning processes, people and by making certain all production assets were being utilized to their full capacity.

Highlights:  71% reported overall equipment effectiveness with the top 11% performers achieving 80% or better.

Quality: 13.7% Improvement Over 2012

Every manufacturer knows how critical it is to measure quality.  The majority of manufacturers interviewed have employed means to measure the rate of products that were manufactured correctly the first time without scrap or rework.

Maintenance: 14.9% Improvement Over 2012

Rather than looking at maintenance as a detriment to their business, leading manufacturers looked at maintenance, planned or otherwise, as a strategic tool to improve their operations.  Those leaders have integrated real-time monitoring equipment into their manufacturing process in order to keep operations running smooth and at peak efficiency.

Compliance: 18.5% Improvement Over 2012

Health, safety and environmental are not only key for continued improvement of the manufacturing process, they also contribute the overall attitude and culture of a business.  These social metrics can be improved upon by maintaining transparency within your company and by having company guidelines and future goals put into place to use as a guide in moving forward.

Takeaway from the Survey

Integrating robotics automation systems into your manufacturing plant can help your company grow across nearly every category included in the survey.  Robotics automation increases innovation, streamlines production, improves quality and dramatically reduced turnaround time.  If you’re ready to take your manufacturing company to the next level, call 1800 or visit our online integration estimate form to get started.

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