INTEGRATED ORGANIZATIONS: Working as one improves industrial-equipment makers’ competitiveness
Blog: Apriso Blog
With increasingly sophisticated products, supply chains and customer expectations, industrial-equipment manufacturers are experiencing intense pressure to deliver. Compass spoke with Cambashi founder Mike Evans about strategies to manage the industry’s growing complexity.
COMPASS: What challenges are industrial-equipment makers facing?
MIKE EVANS: Machine builders must accelerate time-to-market of new machines while reducing costs and ensuring greater safety and reliability. They must also comply with strict standards and stringent regulations.
Customers also demand that today’s machines do more than ever before, with advanced monitoring, sensors and automation bringing ever-increased functionality. This increased complexity is challenging to manage and makes it harder to compete effectively.
Like most businesses today, industrial-equipment makers also have to connect within and beyond their enterprises on a global scale. Many companies that internally managed sales, design, engineering and installation now outsource these specializations. But coordinating multiple streams of information is problematic. If these streams remain unconnected, labor and capital are wasted through repetition of work and errors in engineering and manufacturing.
How can industrial-equipment manufacturers manage complexity to deliver a better customer experience?
ME: Companies are moving to customer-centric teams where skills and tasks are organized around customers’ needs. On behalf of their customers, they have to make and install machines that have 100% operational uptime.
That’s a big order. What strategies can help manage it?
ME: It definitely requires an integrated working methodology that allows customers to see exactly what they are buying, often simulated in the context of their own operations before the machines are built. That leads to fewer mistakes and more satisfied customers. Within an integrated working methodology, all parts of the enterprise touch. Customer, supply chain, product data, mechatronics and software are all combined on one platform used by each and every stakeholder.
What are the commercial and technical advantages?
ME: Synchronizing requirements drives the efficiency, which allows more functionality to be incorporated into machines while delivering improved output. This virtuous circle is completed when improved profitability allows greater investment to replace labor with capital.
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