Schlauer Raum Blog

Manufacturing Networks: The remedy against production collapse

Planning reliability would enable every production company to achieve maximum efficiency. The catch: it does not exist. The advantage: Those who rely on the right planning strategies have a true competitive advantage.

Certain is that nothing is certain. Not even that.” This laconic quote by satirist Joachim Ringelnatz is more relevant than ever. So now it’s time to plan with uncertainty. What may sound like a contradiction at first has become an important asset for production companies.

Planning reliability no longer means knowing 100 percent what will happen. It means making decisions based on analyses and, thanks to maximum agility, being able to make decisions and take action even in the event of unforeseeable events.

Manufacturing Networks as an answer to VUCA

Volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous – the reality of production could hardly be better summarized. The acronym “VUCA” originated in the 1990s and describes difficult framework conditions. A corporate strategy for finding one’s way in a VUCA environment can also be abbreviated to VUCA: Vision, Understanding, Clarity and Agility. Exactly this can be implemented in productions with Manufacturing Networks.

Manufacturing Network Design is about optimizing locations, capacities and production processes in order to increase OEE. Manufacturing networks, the connection of individual locally and process-optimized production sites, enable the activation of important network effects via an algorithm-based evaluation and real-time display of production data across sites.

Rising importance of Manufacturing Networks

Several parameters and trends have driven up the importance of manufacturing networks exponentially:

  1. More and more companies want a decentralized approach to manufacturing using multisourcing or regional sourcing models.
  2. The corona pandemic and increasing protectionist trade policies are pushing companies to consider a diversified manufacturing base more as a cost of doing business.
  3. Increasing automation is changing cost structures.
  4. New technological innovations are increasing the pressure on companies to digitize in order to remain competitive.
  5. The increasing amount of data in manufacturing companies offers tremendous opportunities that must be leveraged as a competitive advantage.

Using Advanced Algorithms to succeed

Advanced Algorithms enable decision making on optimal capacity placement and product flow design. Robust planning systems provide vertical and horizontal alignment of planning decisions. Naturally, IT infrastructural changes impact business processes. Therefore, it is imperative to prioritize appropriate strategic considerations before deploying a manufacturing network and to consider the impact on employees. After all, only when they are empowered to work with the technology, it can develop its full potential – and the investment is fully worthwhile.

To facilitate deployment, a software solution should be chosen that offers a state-of-the-art UX/UI design. Intuitive usability and clear interfaces provide information on relevant information, developments and analysis results at a glance. The ability to flexibly adjust capacities in the face of high uncertainty by taking into account changes in demand, delivery patterns or lead times can represent a strong competitive advantage.

Take advantage of the possibilities of a Manufacturing Network for your production! Rely on a future-proof platform solution today. Learn more here!