Rise of the Superplant: How to Stay Competitive in a Global Market

12/10/21 10:30 AM

The winds are shifting in the world of manufacturing. In order to remain competitive during this transitional phase, manufacturers must adapt and stay up-to-date on developing industry trends. More specifically, recent developments in trans-continental commerce have led to the inception of multinational superplants across the globe. The outcome? These trends have shown an increase in sizable competitors, support faster product development, and require more flexible manufacturing systems. Not to mention, increasing standards of living and growing consumerism have resulted in an unparalleled number and variety of products in the marketplace. While this may benefit consumers, manufacturers have found it increasingly difficult to predict product popularity and plan production accordingly.superplant

As a result, we’re witnessing more instances of inaccurate forecasting in conjunction with rising costs for those missteps. Due to these inaccurate forecasts, manufacturers and retailers end up with unwanted goods that are either marked down or sold at a loss. To combat this issue many superplant manufacturers are embracing two solutions: accurate response and innovation through collaboration.

Accurate Response

Accurate response is a new approach to the entire forecasting, planning and production process. This methodology helps companies improve their forecasts by redesigning their planning processes to minimize inaccuracy in forecasts. Inaccuracies are reduced by initially analyzing what forecasters can and cannot predict (this allows you to determine the areas with the largest variance). Managers can then postpone decisions with the most unpredictable items until the right market signals are triggered. Essentially accurate response helps large entities, like superplants, correctly align supply with demand.

The method incorporates two elements other forecasting systems lack:

  • First, it takes into account missed sales opportunities by factoring in costs per unit of stockouts and markdowns.
  • It also distinguishes between those products with predictable demand from those with unpredictable demand. This enables companies to focus on more stable front-end production and frees up capacity for auxiliary items when demand spikes.

Innovation through Collaboration

The annual Global Manufacturing Outlook Report investigates constantly evolving strategies that manufacturers deploy in order to drive optimal performance. According to a recent report, more than two-thirds of respondents said they’re adopting more collaborative business models. Multi-facility manufacturers (superplants) have a growing focus on the need for innovation through increased communication and investment in research and development.

With trends like 3D printing on the rise, we’re witnessing a dramatically reduced product development life-cycle. Superplants that have started to leverage tools like 3-D printing now have the means to produce widgets on demand, reduce overstocked inventory, and more accurately meet market demand. Growth through innovation is slowly becoming the norm and those who embrace multi-plant collaboration with more streamlined technologies are sure to distinguish themselves amid manufacturers.

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Topics: manufacturing, PlanetTogether, superplant, multi-plant, global plants, plant simulation, manufacturing technology


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