Posted By Roger Thomas, October 12, 2017
October 12, 2017 – We at the Manufacturing Leadership Council are of the belief that the journey to a next-generation manufacturing model isn’t just about aggressively adopting emerging digital technologies. Yes, IIoT, advanced analytics, modeling, smart products, and machine learning technologies are emerging as important components of M4.0 transformation, giving manufacturers unprecedented power to optimize operations in response to or even in advance of market and other changes.
But M4.0 transformation isn’t just about digitization and technology. It’s also about making dramatic cultural, workforce, and organizational changes which, in combination with digitization, are helping manufacturers become more efficient and responsive and to grow by innovating new business models.
The need for this multidisciplinary approach to M4.0 transformation was on display recently when members of the ML Council toured the Grand Rapids, MI, plant of electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider Firstronic and engaged in a lively conversation with members of the Firstronic leadership team.
"It was after the downturn in 2010 when we decided to shed 60% of our customer base." John Sammut, CEO of electronic manufacturing services provider Firstronic told members of the Manufacturing Leadership Council at a recent plant tour at his company’s Grand Rapids, MI, plant. How many CEOs have you met that would walk away from 60% of their customer base? Regardless of the scale, this is a bold move. Done for the right reasons with the right focus, these pruning measures can position the business for the right type of growth. Here is my take on how Firstronic’s market insight, organizational alignment, and customer focus paved the way for a great turn-around story. Read More →
The Manufacturing Leadership Council invites you to participate in this year's Manufacturing Sustainability 4.0 Research Project. The results of this survey will be published in the December 2017 issue of the Manufacturing Leadership Journal. Read More →
After a 16-day, four-city trip to China, ML Council co-founder David R. Brousell reflects on what he saw and learned about China and the country's manufacturing direction. Read More →
We at the Manufacturing Leadership Council are of the belief that the journey to a next-generation manufacturing model isn’t just about aggressively adopting emerging digital technologies. Yes, IIoT, advanced analytics, modeling, smart products, and machine learning technologies are emerging as important components of M4.0 transformation, giving manufacturers unprecedented power to optimize operations in response to or even in advance of market and other changes. Read More →
In a bid to accelerate the European manufacturing industry’s journey to a digital future, the European Union’s Institute of Innovation and Technology’s digital division (EIT Digital) has launched a new initiative to provide European manufacturing companies with easier access to the technological facilities and advanced skills of the multiple manufacturing innovation hubs now in place across the region. Read More →
The second and final day of MIF2017 focuses on analytics and digitization, and includes presentations from ML Council members and an award winner. Read More →
On the first day of the MIF2017 manufacturing conference in Tianjin, Chinese manufacturing executives say they are determined to change China's manufacturing image from a mass producer to one based on high quality brands. Read More →
David R. Brousell, the Co-founder of the Manufacturing Leadership Council, begins a 16-day trip to China, where he will speak at the MIF2017 manufacturing conference in Tianjin on the subject of Manufacturing 4.0. Read More →
We often hear that, when taking first steps on the digital transformation journey, manufacturers should start small, build on successes, and then expand the vision once results and credibility have been established. This seems like prudent advice. After all, digitization often involves the implementation of new, relatively untested technologies, and leads to profound process and organizational change. Therefore, we’re often told, it’s best early on to reduce risk by narrowly defining the scope of digitization projects, focusing in incremental improvements, and leaving messy change management for later. Read More →