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Manufacturing Innovation

Businesses and retail consumers have an ever-increasing range of products to choose from, so manufacturing businesses face constant competition in order to retain or increase their market share. Manufactures therefore need to be flexible in considering new ways of working as well as new technologies that will allow them to respond rapidly and cost-effectively to customer demand.

Businesses can introduce innovation in manufacturing to a wide range of areas, including new processes, new materials and the use of new equipment. It can improve the quality of your output and the health of your business.

In manufacturing sector, innovation usually refers to:

  • Product innovation
  • The introduction of innovative processes and equipment, often IT driven
  • Green technologies which reduce waste and use consumables more efficiently.

The benefits of innovation include:

  • Greater responsiveness to customer demands
  • Faster turnaround times
  • Reduced waste levels and downtime
  • Improved product design and quality
  • Greater potential for a wider product range
  • Streamlined relationships with suppliers and customers

Introducing innovation in business requires time and money. One can introduce innovation either gradually or in one go – the timeframe will depend upon a range of factors including:

  • The specific changes that one wants to introduce
  • The availability of resources to complete them speedily
  • Whether one might need to stagger disruptions to the production capacity while transition is being made.

Innovation is crucial to the competitive position of manufacturing businesses. The key to innovation in manufacturing is to make sure that it’s driven by business needs and not by the attraction of change for its sake.

  • Therefore, one must consider what areas of business would most benefit from a new approach.
  • Must consider all the different areas of business where manufacturing innovation could be implemented.
  • Innovation in those areas where it is fit to implement innovation, can drive the performance of the business.

Innovation in Production can be introduced in

  • Competent sourcing: new components, new suppliers or an improved deal with existing suppliers could improve the products and profits.
  • Materials Technology: new materials could improve the products or their packaging and presentation.
  • Factory process control: automating process control, including quality control, gives better efficiency and products.
  • Machinery Maintenance: Automatic scheduling of machinery will ensure that the machinery is kept smoothly running, avoiding any obstacles in the production.
  • Stock control and order processing: this requires constantly looking out for new and improved ways to streamline the order processing and stock control to ensure that right amount of stock is available.
  • Logistics and warehousing: Rethinking how the finished products are stored and sent to the customers so that you take advantage of new transport opportunities and keep warehousing costs to a minimum.
  • IT Systems: keeping an update of the latest trends and developments in the IT industry and the systems that are being used in the concern. This will help in obtaining new and better systems.
  • Accounting procedures: the accounting, invoicing and payments procedures should be streamlined with the stock control and order processing and must be updated regularly.

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This article is in continuation with our previous articles on Operations Management which include Just In Time (JIT), Inventory Management, Economic Order Quantity, ABC Analysis, Fix Position Layout

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