Many industrial operations today turn to technology to streamline operations. Doing so optimizes business processes. However, for this technology to provide the desired benefits, the company must determine which processes are in need of attention.
The easiest way to make this determination is to identify which goals are not being met consistently. For example, a ready-mix concrete company may struggle with dispatching materials or monitoring loads. This would lead to the company looking for a bulk materials solution, as it would address the most pressing problem.
Value Stream Mapping
To streamline business operations, a company may turn to value stream mapping. The business leaders develop a flowchart that highlights every component needed to deliver the product or service. This flowchart is useful in analyzing and optimizing the process of doing so. Once the flowchart has been created, the company can reduce waste while increasing efficiency with the help of technology solutions. This chart makes it easy to identify pain points and determine which solutions will be most effective.
Potential Process Failures
Process failures may be seen in many areas. Staffing shortages serve as one pain point many companies deal with. However, the problem might lie in insufficient inventory, which leads to delays in deliveries. Another possible failure could be a lack of raw materials because of supply chain shortages. Knowing the process failures allows businesses to prioritize technology purchases. This doesn’t take into account potential inefficiencies created by the rise in e-commerce operations. Companies must take these into consideration, as well.
In the past, companies would focus on increasing capacity. Today, the focus has shifted to capabilities. For example, a bulk material distributor will work to improve its ability to offer different products and respond quickly to customer requests. Doing so allows them to solve problems and provide solutions while adding value to the customer’s life.
To do so, the company must use data, information, and knowledge. Workers can adapt quickly to changing conditions with this material. However, companies must invest in top talent to ensure the right people are in every position within the organization.
Consumers want customized solutions rather than one-size-fits-all products and services. Technology makes it easier to provide these solutions. With the help of digital platforms and solutions, providing what the customer wants becomes an easier task.
Agility remains key to meeting the needs of customers. The company must be able to move from aggregate production to cement production quickly and easily, for example. Fast response to a customer’s request increases brand loyalty. Customer fulfillment involves meeting the client’s needs rather than simply closing a sale. The customer wants to know they will get what they paid for and that it will meet their needs in every way.
Many companies struggle to make this transition. It requires the company to make a shift in the way they think about manufacturing and how the plants are run. Those that do, however, see great success. They provide the customer with value and develop a long-term relationship in the process. This loyalty will pay off in the long run, as satisfied customers provide the best advertising today.
With the help of digital apps and platforms, making the move to smart manufacturing doesn’t have to be a challenge. With these programs, manufacturing can once again serve as a driving force in America’s economy. Learn more today to see how this type of technology can move a bulk materials company forward.