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manufacturing industry

Curated Insights on the Manufacturing Industry from Infiniti’s Industry Experts

The past decade has been tumultuous for the global manufacturing sector. Large developing economies made their way into the first tier of manufacturing nations, a severe recession choked off demand, and there was a steep fall in the manufacturing employment in advanced economies. Despite this, manufacturing remains critically important to both the developing and the advanced world. The changing nature of the manufacturing sector means that old responses are no longer sufficient to sustain. While manufacturing remains crucial to support economic stability in both developing and advanced economies, business leaders and policy makers must keep track of the pulse of the sector to identify opportunities and challenges coming their way. We have curated some articles from Infiniti’s thought leaders about how the manufacturing environment is changing and what business leaders must do to adapt.

Key forces that will drive growth in the future of manufacturing in Europe

Europe’s manufacturing industry will play a significant role in building a sustained and competitive economy. The manufacturing sector currently accounts for nearly 15% of Europe’s GDP and will play a significant role in their long-term economic development. According to industry experts at Infiniti, factors including nearshoring in eastern Europe, carbon neutral manufacturing processes, and the rise of industry 4.0 will play a pivotal role in driving the future of manufacturing. Read the article for more insights.

A guide to effectively tackle your manufacturing overhead costs

The current scenario in the US manufacturing sector is much different from what it has been for over the past two decades. As output growth in the US manufacturing industry has been largely concentrated on a few industries such as electronics, pharmaceuticals, and aerospace, there has been a considerable fall in labor share of US GDP. The US manufacturing industry must now focus on positioning themselves to leverage existing opportunities and prepare to compete in the future rather than making attempts to recreate the past or maintain status quo. Gain expert opinion on how companies in the US manufacturing industry can tackle their excessive overhead costs on this blog.

Top manufacturing industry trends

Manufacturing companies around the globe are increasingly exploring radically new ways of creating and capturing value. Furthermore, with the changing demand of consumers, manufacturing will no longer be limited to producing physical products alone, it will largely revolve around personalization and customization. The new age industrial revolution also termed as industry 4.0 is powered by innovative technologies such as smart manufacturing, robotics, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies are expected to be major driving forces in the future of manufacturing. In this blog, industry experts at Infiniti provide comprehensive insights on the top manufacturing industry trends that you must watch out for.

FAQs on smart manufacturing

Smart manufacturing is one of the most trending topics among manufacturing experts right now. Smart manufacturing is a powerful force with the potential to restructure the existing competitive landscape and produce a new set of market leaders. In this blog, experts at Infiniti answer four key questions relating to smart manufacturing and how it is transforming the manufacturing landscape as we know it.

smart manufacturing

How to Successfully Navigate Through the Transition to Smart Manufacturing

Manufacturing as we know it is going through a phase of unprecedented transformations. Several initiatives and efforts are in full swing to fundamentally transform the manufacturing sector and associated processes. These initiatives, although known by different names such as industry 4.0 in the west to manufacturing innovation 3.0 in the east, they all stand to have a common pursuit – smart manufacturing. A fully-connected manufacturing business where machines, devices, and people work seamlessly, sharing and acting on information in real-time is vital for manufacturers to pull off a successful changeover to smart manufacturing.

The global push for smart manufacturing is underway, creating a pool of growth opportunities for manufacturers. Smart manufacturing techniques offer several opportunities for companies in the manufacturing industry to improve their operations by providing greater connectivity across the manufacturing facility and the ability to act on production intelligence. However, while some agile manufacturers have embraced smart manufacturing fully and are reaping the benefits already, most still have much work ahead of them. According to experts at Infiniti, less than 15% of manufacturing companies around the globe have successfully implemented a strategy to apply Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to their production processes. Experts at Infiniti explain how companies in the manufacturing sector can go about smartly implementing smart manufacturing in their organizations.

Learn more about how Infiniti’s solutions can help stay updated with the latest manufacturing industry trends and challenges.

Improve quality and productivity

Quality management and kaizen techniques can only provide limited outcomes when the information relied on are limited and not available in real-time. Manufacturers are leveraging embedded equipment intelligence to monitor most product specifications in real-time, either from a customer or regulatory perspective. Apart from this, they’re using this intelligence to address product defects and variations, verify whether quality goals are met, and improve customer satisfaction. Embedded intelligence, when used to improve control and transparency of manufacturing processes creates new opportunities to improve productivity. For instance, operators on the plant floor are analyzing real-time production data to uncover hidden inefficiencies and ensure faster implementation of changes. Managers and logistics professionals are leveraging smart manufacturing technologies to deliver critical data including forecasts and schedules to suppliers, while also monitoring delivery performances at the supply chain level.

Enhancing decision-making process

Manufacturers must consider upgrading their existing technologies in order to attain next-gen productivity. This involves reconciling dissimilar data sources with the current IT systems, extracting the data from smart manufacturing technologies, and then converting that data into actionable insights. Manufacturers that have adhered to these steps and armed themselves with better information are using it to optimize their assets, improve their responsiveness to changing customer demands, refine workflows, and reduce inventory holding.

There is an increasing need for for agile production, operational efficiency, and control in the manufacturing industry. Get in touch with our experts to learn how our solutions can help your organization keep up with the changing market dynamics.

Safeguard against threats

Availability of larger data sets and more connection points can introduce greater risk to manufacturing companies in the forms of internal and external threats. Cyber attackers are looking beyond corporate servers to target operations technologies, while decades-old devices and controls of companies in the manufacturing sector can be more susceptible to breaches through both malicious attacks and unintentional employee actions. No single security technology or methodology will suffice in this complex threat landscape. Instead, manufacturers must use a comprehensive, defense-in-depth approach that establishes security safeguards at different layers to stop threats on multiple fronts. Robust and secure network infrastructure should be built on standard and unmodified Ethernet, which has become the industry preference for security purposes.

Safe, compliant, and reliable operations

An ongoing concern for most manufacturers is to achieving safe, compliant, and reliable operations, and smart manufacturing technologies provide new opportunities for dealing with some of these age-old challenges. Common opportunities provided by smart manufacturing will include replacing obsolete and isolated automation systems that have exceeded their life spans, are difficult to connect and are no longer supported by their manufacturers. However, manufacturers also should define new requirements based on past performance in areas such as employee injuries, machinery downtime, and work stoppages.

Learn more about Infiniti’s solutions for companies in the manufacturing industry

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manufacturing overhead costs

Cost Reduction Strategies in Manufacturing: A Guide to Effectively Tackle Your Manufacturing Overhead costs

manufacturing overhead costs

If the production method is inefficient businesses are less likely to profit from it, irrespective of how impressive their products are. Rather than increasing the price of the product in such situations, it is advisable for manufacturing companies to lower the production costs and the manufacturing overhead costs.

What are manufacturing overhead costs?

Manufacturing overhead is concerned with a company’s manufacturing operations and includes the costs incurred in the manufacturing facilities other than the costs of direct materials and direct labor. Manufacturing overhead costs include all the indirect costs incurred during the production process. Our most successful clients focus on ways to improve costs, profits, and flexibility by reducing manufacturing costs. Manufacturing cost reduction efforts can result in significant product cost savings, manufacturing cost-saving, and life cycle cost saving especially when companies implement the right strategies for the reduction of manufacturing overhead costs.

It is vital for manufacturers to reduce their manufacturing overhead costs without having to compromise on the quality and quantity of the products. Not sure how to achieve this? Request a free proposal from our industry experts to find out.

Cost reduction strategies in manufacturing

Cut down material costs

One of the simplest ways to reduce manufacturing overhead costs in by cutting down the material costs. This can be achieved by tweaking product designs and effectively utilizing all the resources available at hand. It is always beneficial to opt for simpler designs and cost-saving raw materials. The leftover materials including cardboard, metal, and paper can be sent for recycling.

Optimize employee performance

Employees in manufacturing companies must be trained to keep pace with the changing consumer expectations. Training and development activities must be carried out to enhance the skills and productivity of employees in manufacturing facilities. Qualified and skilled employees can help businesses minimize their manufacturing overhead costs that occur due to production inefficiencies.

Get in touch with our experts to know how our advanced solutions for the manufacturing industry can help your business to trim down expenses while improving business efficiency.

Negotiate with suppliers

 Another way of significantly reducing the manufacturing overhead costs is to negotiate with the suppliers to reduce prices. To gain a reasonable price reduction from the suppliers, manufacturers can try offering larger deposits and ensuring that all the bills are settled on time.

Control inventory storage and purchases

The longer stocks are held, the more is the warehousing costs incurred by manufacturers. To avoid this and reduce the resulting manufacturing overhead costs, manufacturers must have a fair idea of when to resupply so that they do not get stuck with excess or obsolete inventory. Furthermore, adequate care must also be given to avoid inventory shortages. Inventory shortages lead to backorders which require manufacturers to add extra shipping costs and even worse, they can lead to unsatisfied consumers.

Learn more about Infiniti’s solutions for the manufacturing industry

supply chain risk

Key Supply Chain Risk factors for Manufacturers

The globalization of businesses over the last decade and the manufacturing industry, in particular have made it imperative for executives and risk managers to reassess the risks facing their organizational processes and their supply chain activities. Effective supply chain risk management in manufacturing companies is often hindered by factors including supplier failure and non-traditional risks. Furthermore, supply chain vulnerability is also increasing due to risks including supplier relationships, manufacturing process, and shipment of finished goods. While creating a supply chain risk management for companies in the manufacturing industry, manufacturers must also consider some of the below mentioned factors that are sometimes out of their control.

Is the absence of an effective supply chain risk management strategy increasing your vulnerability to challenges? Request a free proposal to know how Infiniti’s solutions can help you overcome this.

Top supply chain risk factors for manufacturing companies

supply chain riskDisruptions in distribution

When a key supplier moves their operations to another country, it can have a significant impact on the cost of production and raw materials for a manufacturer. Supply chain risk managers must ensure that regular communication and the presence of strong contract between value parties to prevent such unforeseen contingencies.

Laws and regulations

The degree of supply chain risk faced by a manufacturing company can be greatly affected by the changes in laws and regulations. For instances, if the wage laws and overtime regulations in a particular region changes, then it may eventually result in increased costs.

Infiniti’s risk management strategies enable organizations to effectively monitor and control business risks coming their way. Want more information?

Market competition

There’s a growing concern with mergers and acquisitions (M&A) of big companies across industries. These M&As have the potential to create monopolies, allowing organizations to eliminate competition and make it harder for smaller companies to survive. Market competition is also continuously changing and innovating. As such, organizations must decide which modern technologies and processes to adapt or risk falling behind other agile movers in the market.

Labor issues

When a workplace is unionized, it becomes difficult to adjust employee contracts as and when required. For example, laying off employees may prove to be tough during periods of low customer demand or relocation of assets. Adequate training must be given to employees in order to maximize productivity and reduce risks. Manufacturers must also take measures to ensure that in case of any employee’s absence, the production process is not disrupted.

Learn more about Infiniti’s solutions for the manufacturing sector

Future of manufacturing

Future of Manufacturing in Europe: Key Forces That Will Drive Growth and Profitability

Europe’s 2020 agenda for digitization and Horizon 2020 plan for R&D funding are significant initiatives to facilitate a more sustained and competitive economy. These long term strategies will eventually trickle down to the manufacturing sector and play a significant role in the future of manufacturing in Europe. The manufacturing sector currently accounts for nearly 15% of Europe’s GDP and will play a significant role in their long-term economic development. In this blog, experts at Infiniti explore some of the key forces that will drive transformation in the future of manufacturing in Europe and disrupt their manufacturing sphere.

The European manufacturing sector holds tremendous opportunities, but these opportunities also comes with a host of challenges especially for players who are new to the market. Request a free proposal to know how our industry experts can help you stay abreast of the challenges in the European manufacturing space and capitalize on the right opportunities to improve profitability.

Future of Manufacturing in Europe

Future of manufacturingNearshoring in Eastern Europe

Although Western Europe is often considered the hub for manufacturing activities, Central and Eastern European countries including Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Czech Republic are expected to become pivots for manufacturing innovation. The easy availability of cash grants and tax incentives, and the accessibility of skilled researchers are some of the key factors enabling this shift.

Rise of industry 4.0

With large sums of money being allocated as a part of the Horizon 2020 R&D funding program, we can expect significant advancements in computing, sensor technologies, and robotics in the future of manufacturing in Europe. If this becomes a reality, the future of manufacturing in Europe will not be far from achieving the vision of connected enterprises.

Carbon neutral manufacturing processes

The growing climate change and carbon emission concerns are putting pressure on manufacturing companies around the world to resort to more eco-friendly production processes. From a manufacturing industry standpoint, it is vital to optimize current energy consumption in the plant and focus on electricity from renewable sources. Moreover, the EU plans to reduce 40% of its carbon and greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. As a result, we can expect to see several top manufacturing companies embracing the concept of carbon-neutral processes in the future of manufacturing.

Get in touch with an analyst to know how our solutions can help your business stay ahead in the future of manufacturing.

Demand for highly-skilled workforce

The demand for low-skilled manufacturing jobs is on a steady decline. The future of manufacturing in Europe will soon undergo a structural shift as a result of rising demand for highly skilled and efficient workforce. Human-centric factories will become a reality that encompasses attributes such as dynamic work environments, skill development, and factories aligned to social environments.

Disruption of nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is one of the key enabling technologies in Europe’s Horizon 2020 plan. This will proliferate new opportunities in sectors such as food and beverage, where non-scale polymers can be used to prevent oxygen from spoiling the food. This also means that companies in the manufacturing sector will soon be focusing on the use of nanotechnology in their production and packaging process to enhance the output.

Energy and geopolitics

From a political standpoint, an important talking point is the lifting of the Iran Sanctions, and Russia and China coming together due to the economic climate in both countries. As a result, there was a cheaper dumping of goods, as was seen with the steel industry. Iran will provide more of a growth opportunity when compared to Russia and China, with certain sectors including aviation and automotive expected to see opportunities galore.

Learn more about Infiniti’s solutions for the manufacturing industry

manufacturing industry in Latin America

Why Top US Brands are Turning to the Manufacturing Industry in Latin America

Earlier, many top manufacturing companies in the US heavily relied on Chinese manufacturers due to the availability of low-cost labor. However, with the rapid economic growth in China and a larger section of the Chinese population moving to middle-class and demanding higher wages, several global brands are turning away from China in search of lower-cost alternatives from emerging markets. The manufacturing industry in Latin America is one such market that has become highly lucrative for companies in the US. Everything from medical supplies, to pharmaceuticals, to apparel, aircraft and computer machinery is now manufactured in Latin America, and the political and economic policy adjustments have significantly contributed to the manufacturing industry growth in Latin America.

A lot goes into finding the right balance in terms of economy and quality while manufacturing a product. Request a free proposal to know how our solutions can help you achieve this!

Benefits of manufacturing in Latin America

manufacturing industry in Latin AmericaProximity

One of the key benefits of manufacturing industry in Latin America is its proximity to the US. When American brands do business with suppliers in overseas regions like Asia, it requires officials from the company to travel to the foreign nation. This is primarily because they may want to gain a firsthand view of where and how their products are manufactured.  One of the key benefits of manufacturing in Latin America for companies in the US is their proximity to Central America. Another challenge that proximity helps solve is the disconnect from the manufacturing process.

Lower turnaround time

By relying on the manufacturing industry in Latin America, companies in the US can ensure faster shipping of the final products than that from overseas. Often, businesses that have their manufacturing units in Asian countries like China re-stock only once a quarter it takes at least a month for an order to ship overseas. This lack of flexibility in ordering can lead to over- or under-stocking of products. Shipping from the manufacturing industry in Latin America gives a lot more flexibility to companies in the US when it comes to placing orders.

Get in touch with our experts to stay updated on the latest manufacturing industry trends, challenges, and opportunities and learn how our solutions can help your business stay ahead of the game.

Vast labor pool

One of the biggest advantages of turning to the manufacturing industry in Latin America is the high labor pool available. With China’s economy on the upswing, the labor costs of manufacturing industry in Latin America would prove to be much cheaper for brands in the United States. Moreover, in changing economies, Like China, where a greater number of people are rapidly entering the middle class, the manufacturing industry is booming due to the rise in demand by the local population. This means that manufacturers are utilizing their own resources to meet local demands. In some places, it is required for them to do so. This could lead to longer turnaround times and higher cost of labor overseas, making the manufacturing industry in Latin America highly attractive for American companies.

Learn more about Infiniti’s solutions for business.

smart manufacturing

Answering 4 Key Questions About Smart Manufacturing

Over the past couple of years, smart manufacturing has been the trending topic of discussion amongst manufacturing experts, strategists, and industry thought leaders. Despite smart manufacturing garnering increasing popularity, many in the manufacturing industry aren’t quite sure of what it entails, its benefits, and how it is relevant in their organization. Smart manufacturing is a powerful force with the potential to restructure the existing competitive landscape and produce a new set of market leaders. Companies that are slow to adopt such advanced technologies and processes could be left behind.  In this blog, experts at Infiniti answer four key questions relating to smart manufacturing and how it is transforming the manufacturing landscape as we know it.

smart manufacturing

What is smart manufacturing?

Smart manufacturing involves the use of fully-integrated and collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real-time for catering to the rapidly changing demands and conditions in the factory, the supply network, and customer needs. It is a broad concept that cannot be implemented directly in the production concept. It employs computer controls, modeling, big data, and other automation to enhance manufacturing efficiencies.

RFP to know how our market intelligence solutions can help manufacturers overcome key challenges and strategize to stay prepared for future hurdles.

What are the benefits of smart manufacturing?

Smart manufacturing opens up new avenues of innovation that will optimize the creation of higher quality products, improve productivity, sustain safer plant floors, and improve energy efficiency. Furthermore, it will give manufacturers the opportunity to boost employment rates over the current national manufacturing workforce. With the adoption of smart manufacturing techniques, more technology based manufacturing job positions will be available, creating direct manufacturing as well as non-manufacturing positions.

What does smart manufacturing mean for manufacturers?

For small manufacturing companies leveraging any type of business intelligence solution from legacy systems has been extremely limited.  Generally, these systems are not interoperable. As business models are increasingly becoming non-scalable, non-replicable, overly complex, and costly, it is increasing the difficulties for small manufacturing firms. Using smart manufacturing technology, small and medium companies in the manufacturing industry will gain access to new and growing forms of business intelligence. It can also be used to analyze data and test simulations that play a significant role in improving products, design, and performance.

Need more information on the key opportunities and challenges facing the manufacturing industry right now and the strategies to overcome them? Get in touch with our experts.

How does data drive smart manufacturing?

Smart manufacturing primarily revolves around harnessing data. Since smart factories are built on the foundation of data, cybersecurity will play a key role in the entire manufacturing ecosystem. While enabling advanced techniques such as smart manufacturing, data security is imperative. Machines, smart sensors and robotic platforms on the shop floor generate data that is necessary for monitoring, maintenance, and the basic management of the production line. However, much of this data remains in information silos within the factory. Greater integration of context data coming from several different data sources can enhance efficiency and increase the speed of production processes.

Learn more about Infiniti’s solutions for the manufacturing industry.

Food manufacturing industry

Achieving 22% Reduction in Unfulfilled Orders for a Food Manufacturing Industry Client – Infiniti’s Demand Forecasting Engagement

Demand Forecasting for a Food Manufacturing Industry

Companies in the food manufacturing industry are facing several challenges such as volatile market demand, quality issues, supply-demand mismatch, and complex manufacturing constraints. In this context, companies in the food manufacturing industry are realizing the importance of leveraging demand forecasting solution to efficiently forecast demand and anticipate sales.

Are you constantly facing conditions of stockouts and overstocks? If yes, Infiniti’s demand forecasting solutions can help. Request a FREE brochure to gain more insights into our services portfolio and learn other benefits of leveraging our demand forecasting solution.

Business Challenge

The client is a food manufacturing company based out of the United States. The client was facing challenges in efficiently planning inventory operations and anticipating product demand. This resulted in huge loses for the company in terms of sales rate and profit margins. The client, therefore, wanted to leverage Infiniti’s expertise in offering demand forecasting solution. With Infiniti’s demand forecasting solution, the food manufacturing company was looking to manage inventory, maximize sales, and tackle production challenges.

Other challenges faced by the food manufacturing industry client were:

Food manufacturing industry challenge 1: Out-of-stock issues

When faced with out-of-stock issues, the food manufacturing industry client had to deal with unplanned production changeovers to keep up the business. This affected their profit margins.

Food manufacturing industry challenge 2: Overstock issues

On the other side, when the company produced extra products, it resulted in overstock and impacted warehouse operations.

Food manufacturing industry challenge 3: Production speed

By leveraging Infiniti’s expertise in offering demand forecasting solution, the client wanted to set up processes according to the estimated demand to speed up the production cycle.

Food manufacturing industry challenge 4: Labor management

With Infiniti’s demand management process, the client wanted to optimize labor management. They also wanted to predict the peak periods and plan their staffing needs more accurately during periods of high product demands.

Solutions Offered and Value Delivered

The initial phase of the demand forecasting process involved gathering all the available qualitative and quantitative data from market research, market testing, and buyer surveys. The experts developed a robust demand forecasting framework to help the client better plan their production, warehousing, and shipping schedules. With Infiniti’s solution, the client was able to understand the supply-demand requirements and the peak periods for their business. This further helped them in better labor management.

With Infiniti’s demand forecasting solution, the food manufacturing industry client was able to make accurate sales predictions and reduce stockouts of products. This even helped them to efficiently manage their resources during peak periods. The food manufacturing industry client was also able to manage supply and demand. The company achieved a 22% reduction in unfulfilled orders. Also, the solution helped the company to meet their customers’ demands and enhance customer experience.

Request a FREE proposal to know how our demand forecasting solutions can help your business to better plan inventory and production processes.

Challenges in the Food Manufacturing Industry

CHALLENGES IN THE FOOD MANUFACTURING INDUSTRYThe rapid transformations in the food manufacturing industry have brought about a host of opportunities for food companies. The rapid transformations have also increased challenges for companies operating in the food industry. Let’s have a look at some of the challenges in the food manufacturing industry.

  • Creating automated processes to adapt with the ever-changing consumer trends
  • Closely monitoring and complying with state and federal regulations on proper food safety and waste disposal
  • Finding skilled labor

CONTACT US to know how our solutions will help you business gain a leading edge in the market.

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