Manufacturing 2.0

These days, thought leaders in the sector are focused on strategy, supply chain, sales & marketing, regulation & risk, process improvement, product innovation, sustainability and more. In short, we’ve moved way beyond the shop floor. The challenges and consulting opportunities within the North American manufacturing industry have less to do with manufacturing these days. That’s good news for consultants, practices and firms that can bring to bear broad expertise combined with deep and seasoned sector-specific experience in helping client companies address global competition, international joint ventures, global regulatory
issues, a need for more accurate forecasts, dwindling supplies of natural resources, commodity price swings and a growing demand for product and customer service differentiation.

“For the most part, manufacturers know how to make things,” notes Craig Giffi, chairman and U.S. national industry leader for consumer and industrial products at Deloitte. “They can create plants that are identical anywhere in the world. That was not the case 20 years ago. … It’s not about the process of manufacturing right now.”

At least not nearly as much as it once was. Instead, much of manufacturing consulting requires capabilities that extend above and beyond the factory floor. Giffi’s point, echoed by other veterans in the sector, represents a slight exaggeration but one employed to emphasize an important point: today, manufacturing success hinges on much more than manufacturing capabilities. There is, and always will be, a need to improve shop-floor operations. The demand for lean manufacturing and Six-Sigma initiatives (albeit more focused efforts in support of specific components of corporate strategy) remains high.

The interdependent nature of the capabilities required to serve manufacturing clients is transforming the definition of a successful manufacturing consultant. The manufacturing specialist today has a much more nuanced and diverse set of skills than the manufacturing specialist possessed 20 or even 10 years ago. MRP Consulting is available, at ZERO cost to you, for a 1-day onsite visit in which we will map out your current processes and measure them again your current systems. Sometimes a “tune-up” is all that is needed to keep your business running as it should. We can all agree that having the right software will not only improve internal processes and productivity, but will also improve customer relationships.

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