A Manufacturers DNA Breakdown – Or is it a new Evolution?

As we experience an abundance of manufacturers reforming their organization out of the ashes of the pandemic affect, many companies are coping with how to return to normalcy.  Well … that is likely history and a new normal needs to be established.

Many companies we associate with are all stunned on how to get back to the revenue stream and growth curve they budgeted and planned for.  Manufacturers are struggling with productivity meeting production output goals because of a distributed or remote workforce in many cases.  Getting boots on the ground in the factory is a huge challenge to many.

With that, we are seeing increased end user costs because the sales turnover targets are to be met with reduced output.  It’s a spiral effect that can kill what used to be a competitive manufacturer.

So, the company’s DNA (Human Capital) is breaking or broken down.  In many cases, the workforce is working remotely in addition to new employees filling roles from predecessors who are long gone.  Where we see the DNA breaking down is that this new workforce does not directly interact with their colleagues face to face, building relationships, developing mutual respect, and learning how to work with each other in a dynamic environment.  When it comes to manufacturing, boots on the ground in the so-called battlefield is key.  It’s a hands-on industry that every employee learns how to play with each other in terms of interactive characteristics, methods of working, expectations, help and mutual learning.  Such functional elements go on and on that will be almost impossible to do remotely.  In essence, a remote workforce is a team of colleagues that are just a number and email address to each other.  Yes, there is video conferencing which goes a long way, but it cannot replace periodically spending 5 minutes at the refreshment station talking about the job or personal interests to build relationships.

This ‘new evolution’ is a big deal and we are in the genesis stage of reforming to get the business back on stream.  Our working ancestors that came out of WWII may be able to share how they did it if they are still around.  It is up to us to muddle through this new way of operating and I think that manufacturers will have tremendous challenges because, manufacturing is hands on whether you have I4.0, AI or not.  It is key to have your process ducks established and Lean.

It is unlikely that anyone has the solution as to what to do now to get back on track.  If they do, they don’t know what they don’t know.  Every company is unique as the cultural DNA is unique.  What might work for one company likely will not work perfectly for another.  There lies the challenge and where organizations need experienced people to help find their way up the mountain to the peak target.  The tactical approach is making decisions on the fly working around hurdles and barriers through solid experience.

A past mentor said to me “There are many ways to climb the mountain and its never the same way twice because of a shifting environment”.  It is something that is etched in my mind and applicable to every challenge we face with our clients.

Our group of industry experts at LYNXBMG have key operational experience and are here to help organizations navigate the course.

It’s a new frontier and exciting do or die times.  Let’s chat.  Contact Richard Lavigne at Rlavigne@LYNXBMG.COM

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Richard Lavigne; Founder – LYNXBMG