Business agility can make or break a business. So how can manufacturers effectively guide their employees, especially during turbulent times like these? Here are four strategies manufacturers can adopt to attain more flexibility in their operations.
1. Sharing Information
All employees should have access to the latest technology and all essential information to get their work done effectively. They should also understand how their roles influence the overall process and the roles of their co-workers. Managers must understand how sharing the company’s goals with the entire team and giving better access to information can build stronger bonds and improve decision-making.
The goal of every manufacturer should be to identify processes that can be automated to save time. Once processes are automated, it frees up time for workers to gain more skills and work on other tasks. Automation can eliminate repetitive tasks, open up space for creativity, and allow challenges that are usually more rewarding, increasing job satisfaction.
Every manufacturer should regularly review their processes to identify successes and failures. Weaknesses in personnel, machinery, management, and external partners can be solved more easily when there are structures to review them. For manufacturers operating different plants, reviewing the same processes in different locations can help compare varying approaches to the same problems or different modes of application. Having a company journal, newsletter, forums, or internal memos where this information is displayed or sending staff to spend time in other plants is an effective way of improving agility in manufacturing.
4. External Relations
Flexibility in dealing with suppliers, distributors, local governments, communities, and retailers is also vital for sustaining a manufacturing operation. Employees should spend time building and maintaining relationships with partners, clients, and customers. Curating a list of public officers, influencers, marketing operators, community leaders, and media personalities will help you deal better with crises when they occur and continuously develop your company.
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