The Resistance to Innovation - That’s Burning Profits

By Tom Morrison posted 01-14-2021 09:05

  

What if there was a way that you could significantly increase the value of your business? A study done by McKinsey indicates this is possible. Many businesses could boost their overall value by an incredible 20% if they adopt innovations and take advantage of the technological advances in their industry. This has the potential to add another $530 billion to the service-based manufacturing industry by 2025!

However, getting these increases means changing the way we do things. While we fundamentally know that innovation in heat treating and service-based manufacturing can yield significant results, change can often be uncomfortable.

Resistance to Innovation

There’s often a resistance to innovation that’s holding companies back. Why is that?

  • Changes in tools (including software as well as mechanical) mean reviewing processes and operating steps.
  • Changes in the nature of the job mean re-training the workforce.
  • Changes in work relationships can cause uncertainty.
  • Fear of failure can cause resistance.
  • The emergence of new (or altered) tasks can slow internal adoption.

Even when it’s the right change, it can lead to anxiety. That’s why it is crucial that this is managed and driven from a top-down approach, directly from executive management.

Areas Where Lack of Innovation Are Costing You Money

If you’re not taking advantage of innovation, it will be challenging to remain competitive in the future. Lack of innovation costs you money when it comes to quality control, overall equipment utilization, workforce efficiencies, smart production processing, and realizing gains from better production software tools.

Quality Control (QC) Management

Without quality control, you waste time, money, and resources. Monitoring each processing step on the production floor, from quoting and receipt of parts all the way to shipping to the final product, helps you maintain better quality control, which reduces scrap and rework. Standardization results in consistency and fewer customer complaints. A robust (and integrated) QC program lowers production costs and enables you to pass audits more quickly, and meet order specs.

Quality management, however, doesn’t work in a silo, it needs to be an enterprise-wide focus that includes every aspect of the organization with greater transparency. Bluestreak’s end-to-end control leads to better QC, increasing productivity and setting a path for continuous improvement.

Smart Manufacturing

The slow pace of digital adoption has hurt US businesses. This resistance to innovation in manufacturing has put many companies at a significant disadvantage with overseas (and domestic) competitors. To combat cheap labor abroad, manufacturers have to get better at improved operational process and productivity.

Instead of adopting new software tools to improve business productivity, too many manufacturers try to adapt what they’ve used before, even if the functionality you need is not available. If you find that the software you’re using has too many workarounds, doesn’t have the functions you require, or no longer suits your needs, it’s time to look for a new solution.

If you’re using software that’s more at home in the accounting suite than on the shop floor, you’re not optimizing your productivity. Many companies are losing money and/or business because they have not adopted the innovations that are available to them.

Innovations in heat treating and service-based part-processing leads to better interoperability, information transparency, process insights, and automation. This allows businesses to better utilize resources and improve the overall quality of mission-critical projects. Moving data to the cloud (through cloud-based MES/QMS software) enables companies to focus more on what they do best, both in the office and on the shop floor rather than into the IT infrastructure, and trying to become an expert on protecting your data and thwarting hacking attempts or ransomware attacks on your server.

Bluestreak™ is perfectly positioned to take advantage of (and provide additional) innovations in Part-processing production facilities as a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and Quality Management System (QMS) designed exclusively for the service-based manufacturing business and production environment. The primary focus is on the manufacturing process and quality management initiatives instead of focusing primarily on inventory management, like many systems do.

Conclusion

Innovation in production control and quality management starts with the right software for your operating environment. Most software is chosen by the business finance office and subsequently “adapted” to work on the shop floor, rather than as part of a complete system that can create innovation throughout the business operations.

In business, so much of what we do is conditioned on ROI. We ask if doing something will increase our profitability. We often forget to examine external costs, such as loss of business, because we fail to innovate. As labor costs continue to rise and good workers become harder to find, innovation in service-based manufacturing (heat treating, surface finishing, coating, plating, etc.) will be crucial to remain competitive. Failing to innovate is burning profits.

 

Article provided by Bluestreak, MTI member since 2006. Bluestreak is a leader in Manufacturing Execution Systems including quality management systems and preventative maintenance. For more information on BlueStreak, visit www.go-bluestreak.com.

 

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