10 opportunities to cut costs in Custom and On Demand manufacturing – Cost Saving 10: Insight

10 opportunities to cut costs in Custom and On Demand manufacturing – Cost Saving 10: Insight

Finding the truth

As we’ve run through the preceding areas of cost saving in Custom and On Demand manufacturing you will have seen a gradually growing emphasis on data.

Our philosophy is that workflow automation is not about machines and removing tasks – although that certainly comes into it – it is first and foremost about information particularly in Custom and On Demand Manufacturing.

What is unusual about this industry is how fragmented and agile manufacturing is and how widely the cost of goods can vary from batch to batch in the facility. COGS can move from a few cents to tens of $ from one batch to the next.

What that means is that only by having access to the data down to the batch and the product code level and being able to see trends over time can long run costs be removed from the business.

Many of the cost saving initiatives above are targeted at observable incidents happening ‘now’. They are about building a new level of agility to either prevent or contain the cost.

This last area of cost saving takes a different perspective.

Some costs are incurred as a pattern or might be at a lower incidence but at a higher per unit cost and therefore demand a response.

Cost Saving 10 is developing the capability to see the patterns in the business and being able to diagnose and solve for those problems. Sometimes it might require collecting more data to help solve the problems but an effective workflow automation system will provide the mechanism to be able to capture information through your daily operations that will associate the events with the components, orders, products and batches that the events are associated with.

We’ve seen big cost savings found through identifying patterns in shifts, weather, machines and materials. At times these patterns have existed for long periods of time but the nature of the pattern meant that it was just accepted as being part of an average level of experience of running the plant. From humidity to mill variance, machine maintenance cycles and different stock suppliers they are all drivers of cost for which data driven insight can have enormous impact on plant cost.

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© ZenSmart.ai

Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith is the CEO of ZenSmart, a leading workflow automation platform that streamlines manufacturing in On Demand plants across the world.



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