The future of the Australian manufacturing industry was examined relevant to innovation and technology recently. Some manufacturing businesses are taking strategic risks and pushing for more technological integration on the factory floor. Whilst others remain cautious not yet financially capable of industrial change, according to Mark Dingley, CEO for Matthews Australasia – as published in Manufacturer’s Monthly.
Dingley claims “The digital and innovation world makes sense in Australia yet, in a way, there are a lot of smaller manufacturers who are still coming to grips with how they can adopt new technology to improve their supply chain. One of the challenges for a lot of companies is that they aren’t building greenfield sites where they can roll out state-of-the-art equipment. For some of the companies I talk to, it is very difficult to outlay any significant capital that is required to upgrade every part of their infrastructure. But it certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything because standing still means you will whittle on the vine.”
The result, Dingley says, is a “two-paced” supply chain. On one side, there are those who are concentrating carefully on maintaining the status quo, including the overall cost structure of their business and its continuous improvement. Yet, there are those other manufacturers that are also looking at new ideas, innovation and opportunities to test new technologies and see what impact it can have to their business and along the supply chain.
There are a lot of challenges on manufacturing businesses today – continually focused on cost-downs. But there are certainly a growing number of manufacturers who invest in automation and seeking out new ideas. Over the next five to 10 years, the manufacturing industry is going to see significant changes both in its technology and changing market and customer trends.
We have found our customers invest in better machines and technology with the exception of up-skilling and cross-skilling their own workforce. This creates complexity in workflows and limitations when they need to scale up to get a large job out the door.
The common response is “This is how we have always done it!”
The Steel Efficiency Review® aims to challenge this way of thinking to provide recommendations to change and improve our customer’s business and at the same time our product and service offer.
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