Siddhant Bery is the Managing Partner, KSP INC, who joined the company in 2019. Siddhant brought with him a new perspective on running the firm by effectively utilising global best practices.
The technological innovations of the last decade have paved the way for the smart factory vision of manufacturing pioneers through the fourth industrial revolution. In manufacturing, Industry 4.0 has changed the dynamics of the industry. The fourth industrial revolution, as part of a wider concept, termed digital transformation, streamlined manufacturing from planning to delivery, with solutions for deep analytics, shop floor data sensors, smart warehouses, simulated changes, plus product and asset tracking.
In today’s times, the manufacturing environment is more dynamic and challenging than ever. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), predictive analytics, cloud computing, the fourth industrial revolution and many more initiatives might all be overwhelming, but the reality is that the value for digital transformation based on concepts like IIoT, Industry 4.0 rests with smart measurement devices, sensors and machines, which could hold the answer for providing differentiated digital transformation and real benefits.
Make smart investments in asset productivity
Several fundamental steps can improve manufacturing sector productivity. Also, manufacturers can drive incremental innovation and leverage the know-how of vendors and industry groups to keep their manufacturing practices up to date and hence, these can improve productivity by about 20-25 per cent. Another 10 to 15 per cent more improvement is possible with structural changes. For example, smart automation—investing in capital equipment to improve productivity—places automation tools at select locations, ideally stations that have significant quality issues or stations with long cycle times.
The implementation of the SAP Business One manufacturing solution can also enable you to streamline the sales order process by linking all sales orders to inventory data. Designed for small and mid-sized discrete and process manufacturing companies, SAP Business One provides the accurate, real-time information you need to manage your production and profitability – and with integrated solutions for EDI, supply chain management, shipping logistics, and advanced manufacturing capabilities, it makes running your end-to-end operation simpler than you imagined.
Develop employee skills across all levels
The manufacturing sector can take collective and individual actions to grow a skilled labour pool. At a collective level, the manufacturing sector can establish and support vocational training institutes for developing skilled labour pools around key manufacturing clusters. In addition, establishing standards for curriculum and certification testing will ensure all entry-level workers have the skills needed to perform their tasks.
Alternatively, manufacturers can improve their capabilities by developing relevant curricula and structured training programs aimed at workers at various stages of their careers. They can also provide a standard apprenticeship or induction program for entry-level workers and more advanced technical or supervisory training for senior-level employees. The aim should be to improve the skills of the existing workforce to take on high-technology manufacturing processes. Once trained, retaining these highly skilled labourers will require financial incentives and individual career paths.
Improve supplier fitness and product quality
Solving deep-rooted supplier quality issues is possible, but it is not easy, as it requires making all suppliers across the value chain lean. In the medium term, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) should invest in building quality into their designs, so that it is easier for lower-skilled suppliers to ensure quality.
Meanwhile, the best results will come from a long-term approach, focused on suppliers and supply relationships. These relationships should have built-in incentives and mandates for lean improvements that will result in quality and cost improvements across the entire value chain. The first step is offering suppliers incentives to become lean not only in their processes but also in additional capability areas such as product development.
Reconnect and strengthen your network
Word of mouth and customer referrals are the number-one source of new business for companies in the manufacturing sector. Networking is one of the best ways to improve your visibility with new clients. How do you do it effectively? Reconnecting with current and previous customers is one of the most effective ways. If it has been a while since a client has worked with your organisation, it is likely they have forgotten about the interaction. Giving them a gentle poke to remind them you are still in business is a valuable tool in getting their word-of-mouth working. It is also a reliable way to learn about potential projects in the pipeline so you can get in on the bidding process.
If the coronavirus pandemic taught us anything, it’s the need to be ready for any crisis. A perfect strategy for sustainable growth includes planning. Global pandemics are an extreme example of the kinds of crises the manufacturing sector may face moving forward. They are not the only crisis scenario that can interrupt construction, engineering, and manufacturing field businesses.
Our country has an opportunity to raise its manufacturing competitiveness and become a supplier of choice not only for its large consuming class but also for global markets. The specialization approach that focuses on eliminating roadblocks in the chosen value chains holds great promise for bringing together manufacturers and, with central government support, raising productivity, securing superior know-how, and generating higher returns on capital.
India is one of the most attractive hubs for foreign investments in the manufacturing sector across the world. Several mobile phones, luxury and automobile brands, among others, have set up or are looking to establish their manufacturing bases in India.
The manufacturing industry of India has the potential to reach US$ 1 trillion by 2025. The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other government initiatives will make India a common market with a GDP of US$ 2.5 trillion along with a population of 1.35 billion people, which will be a big draw for investors. According to some reports, India has the potential to scale up its cumulative laptop and tablet manufacturing capacity to US$ 100 billion by 2025 through policy interventions.
With impetus on developing industrial corridors and smart cities, the central government aims to ensure the holistic development of the nation. The corridors would further assist in integrating, monitoring and developing a conducive environment for industrial development and will promote advanced practices in the manufacturing sector.