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The Great 8 of Manufacturing and Why You Need Them

Sept. 22, 2021
Today’s manufacturing customers expect fast turnaround times, competitive pricing, and on-time delivery of quality parts with every job. Achieving these outcomes requires a variety of capabilities called the “Great 8 of Manufacturing".

The “Great 8 of Manufacturing" consist of the ability to:

  1. Move parts through the shop quickly and efficiently
  2. Schedule and deliver on time
  3. Know your costs
  4. Maintain accurate inventory
  5. Control your labor costs
  6. Get quality right
  7. Serve your customers the way you want
  8. Grow sales

Falling short in even one of these areas can impact your ability to deliver what customers want. Problems in several areas make it extremely difficult to compete against manufacturers that achieve all of them on a consistent basis. These Great 8 elements are inextricably linked to each other, and low performance in one area negatively impacts all the others.

If you consistently struggle with scheduling, on-time delivery rates suffer. When you can’t accurately determine costs, incorrect quoting can cause you to lose jobs. When shop floor personnel can’t count on having the correct inventory on hand, jobs get delayed, costs go up, and promised due dates are missed. All of which reduces your ability to go head to head with leaner, more efficient competitors.

Failure to attain the Great 8 of Manufacturing often results from using outdated manual data collection to manage the shop floor. If you’re still filling out hand-written time cards, using manual spreadsheets to schedule jobs, and tracking inventory by hand, don’t expect a high degree of accuracy in these areas. If you regularly have to schedule overtime or extra shifts to meet customer deadlines, labor costs will spiral out of control. If sales reps frequently walk down to the shop floor to hand-count parts in inventory before confirming a job, you won’t be able to serve customers the way you want.

Perhaps the worst outcome is the atmosphere and culture that pervade the shop when key elements of the Great 8 are missing. When the same problems occur over and over again, frustration increases, tempers can rise, and a culture of blame rather than accountability takes over. Is it any wonder that productivity, performance, and profitability take a nosedive in such an environment?

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