What sets the best in the industry above the rest? In an increasingly competitive space, manufacturers are constantly challenged to achieve their professional goals. It’s more and more difficult to be the best of the best as globalization seems to make the world smaller every day while adding more competitors to the playing field. Add rapidly advancing technology paired with consumers’ “I want it now” expectations to the mix, and the challenge grows. But a few secrets can help great manufacturers further enhance their performances on the plant floor and their employers’ rankings in the industry.
🎓 Learn to earn
For those looking to improve, education is key, but it’s equally important to look at where they’re at now. Only when they understand the present and why they’re currently working a certain way can they pinpoint potential improvements and create plans for enhancing personal and team performance in the future. But they must also be willing to change, which is sometimes difficult, especially for those who are set in their ways and those with “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitudes. Plant leaders can overcome this challenge by focusing on and relating to their teams the benefits of constant improvement.
👔 Start from the top
While manufacturers can acquire necessary skills by studying on their own, application is an issue when they can’t use those skills in their workplaces. In many cases, it’s up to plant managers and other manufacturing leaders to first gain the necessary knowledge then disseminate it to employees to maintain an edge over the competition. This also creates cohesion within manufacturing teams as employees can learn and grow in their skills and application of those skills. Plus, this group effort helps get everyone on the same page, moving toward unified goals.
🔍 Find differentiators
This means plant leaders must understand where they can “create unique value and consistently deliver that value to customers in a way that is distinct from competitors’ offerings.” Identifying and using these differentiators can help set manufacturers apart. So, what do some of these unique offerings include? Top performers consider how clients perceive their brands and strive to improve their reputations. This allows them to adjust to remain competitive in the eyes of their end users while constantly monitoring their client bases and products, looking for ways to expand upon both. They also monitor their competition to ensure products are accurately priced for those end users so they can keep a leg up on the competition and bring new technologies into their workplaces for constant improvement.
For those willing to look at the ways they’re performing now, identify potential improvements, and plan on how to get there — while involving the whole team from the C-suite to the plant floor — a high-performance manufacturing culture is possible. But savvy manufacturers also consider an outside-in approach to ensure their improvements will also positively impact customers and include client perspective in their plans to capitalize on these changes.