Many manufacturing companies have embraced the turmoil of recent years to adapt their operations and futureproof their organisations against unforeseen events. But the changing face of business isn’t simply defined by isolated incidents, despite the global supply chain instability caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Eastern Europe. Evolutions in the way customers do business has transformed the manufacturing landscape, with a soaring reliance on digital channels and constantly shifting consumer demands also forcing many manufacturers to reconsider how to stay competitive.
According to the 2022 State of Manufacturing Report, there are four key areas of concern for owners of manufacturing businesses:
- Enhancing resilience and visibility in supply chains.
- Addressing rising customer demand through increased control and predictability.
- Improving productivity and collaboration.
- Ensuring information security as new digital manufacturing solutions are adopted.
So, what steps can small and middle-sized enterprises (SMEs) take to improve their competitiveness and resilience at a time of fluctuating customer demand?
Outsource To External Specialists
More manufacturing SMEs are turning to external specialists to outsource key aspects of their production. Outsourcing allows manufacturers to concentrate on their core competencies, reduce operating costs, slash turnaround times, and inject more flexibility into their existing workflows. It also safeguards against work that is below standard: a specialist precision machining company, for example, will have the equipment and expertise required to achieve exceptional results first time, whereas trying to replicate the same standards in-house requires a significant investment in tools and training and increases the likelihood of unintended waste.
Choosing the right outsourced precision machinist ensures your business is more responsive when customer demand increases, as you can instantly scale up production – but ensure that you conduct due diligence checks to partner with a provider who can meet your requirements.
Utilise Digital Manufacturing
Digital tools are now a critical component of modern manufacturing and, for those businesses that steadfastly stick with so-called tried-and-tested techniques, staying ahead of the competition will be challenging. Digital technology enhances efficiency and productivity on the shop floor, helping you to produce more goods in less time, without impinging on quality.
If you’re a manufacturing SME who can’t afford to overhaul your production line with digital tools, however, outsourcing to a specialist will offer strong advantages. At Hone-All, we have invested heavily in our dedicated manufacturing centre and combine the latest tech with in-depth professional development for our team, so we can help your business to streamline its production, improve component quality, and increase productivity by allowing your staff to focus on what they do best.
Diversify Your Suppliers
Tested to the extreme, global supply chains suffered during the challenges of the last few years. Unsurprisingly, improving supply chain agility is a priority for many manufacturing businesses, hence the huge shift to reshoring for many larger manufacturing businesses.
Manufacturers who are fully prepared for supply chain disruptions will prove to be more resilient in the face of fluctuating customer demand. A reactive approach that tries to mitigate the short-term damage and deal with the fallout later will rarely yield profitable results. In contrast, diversification – expanding the supplier web to incorporate different types of suppliers or outsourced partners – will help to prevent delays, losses, and reputational damage by improving your ability to quickly respond to customer demand.
Find Out More
To find out more about our outsourced deep hole boring, gun drilling, turning and honing services, or to request a free, no-obligation quotation, please call Hone-All on 01525 370666.