In this Manufacturing Geek Podcast we interview Karim Lokas, Senior Vice President of Strategy, Product, and Marketing at Camstar Systems. Karim talks about what it means to be a globally ready manufacturer:
- Being Positioned to Seize Market Opportunities Swiftly and Effectively
- Optimizing the Global Manufacturing Network
- Being Able to Adapt to Change
Continuing the discussion, with how to get ahead and stay ahead in this fast changing manufacturing environment, Karim defines what a global ready infrastructure means.
Global Ready Infrastructure looks like:
- Standardization in a manufacturing context
- Connecting Rapidly
- Production Controls
- Continuous Learning for Perfection
- Easy User Interaction
- Adaptive Organization
To find out more about being a Globally Ready Manufacturing Company download the eBook Karim references here.
Don’t want to listen to the podcast? Read the transcript below.
Give us an overview of what it means to be global ready, why is it important?
Global ready for us means that the most successful manufacturing companies have got to be positioned today to do three things:
1) They need to be ready to seize market opportunity - what do I mean by market opportunity - I really mean emerging growth market opportunities, entering a geo where they don’t have their products, swiftly and effectively. Providing adjacent products or solutions to their customer base globally.
2) Optimizing their global manufacturing network. It’s pretty standard today for any global manufacturer to have sights around the globe and the challenge here is being able to adapt to demands and needs to optimize that manufacturing network for cost effectiveness and delivery.
3) Because the world has never been as fast changing as it is today global ready companies are those who can adapt to change. Whether it be spikes in demand, whether it be changes I product mix most effectively, and why this matters is really quite simple. Those that can seize on market opportunities will drive the most revenue growth, and those that optimize their network and adapt to change will drive the most profitability.
So there is definitely a need to move quickly and responsively to match or even exceed the pace of innovation to be able to seize those opportunities and do that cost effectively. How is it possible for these companies to get ahead?
I think you hit it with some key words right up front, which is everybody recognizes the need for speed. Markets don’t wait on you, your competitors are waiting to seize opportunities, so speed is vital. But everybody will tell you speed alone is not enough. What’s the point of going 100 MPH and running off the highway? You need to be in control. Control means that I get products to market fast, volume, and to the customer, but I do it with high quality products. I want to be in control as I move fast. The only way I can do that is by having an organizational structure, processes, and a technology infrastructure to allow you to adapt quickly and drive change through the organization and get these products to market effectively.
You mentioned that infrastructure, what kind of infrastructure and process do they need to put in place? And what kind of pressures are they getting when they are trying to apply this infrastructure?
Infrastructure is such an abstract word we need to break it down a little bit. We recognize that without people in the right structure, without the right processes, and enabling infrastructure technology you don’t get anywhere. Let me talk about the process in the infrastructure, because I think there are five key elements that lead to a sixth element that is the culmination.
1) Standardize. For you to be a global ready company that adapts quickly to change you have to be able to standardize. Standardization in a manufacturing context means two things: I can standardize the common element of my process and product globally and allow for local variations that are specific to that area, that geo, that equipment, those people.
2) Connect rapidly. As I change a product or a process I can communicate those process modifications, to how I make the product out to the local sites very effectively and consistently.
3) Control. I can turn those changes in a structured way into production controls. Make sure I do build the right product, with the right time, with the right person, with the right equipment.
4) You have an infrastructure process to learn and perfect. As I learn how a product is running through manufacturing I find out better ways to do it. How do I take those learnings and drive that back so that I get the best optimized process globally?
5) How do I do this in a simple fashion where it is very easy and intuitive for users to interact with the system to implement these changes and drive change?
6) You bring acceleration. Really by doing all that and become a very adaptive organization that is globally ready to seize market opportunities and optimize your network.