Typically, manufacturers are so focused on news and advances within their field that they don't consider the importance of partnering with a CPA firm that really understands their industry and business.
After a long period of economic turmoil, manufacturers in the United States are finding reasons to be optimistic. Demand is up and companies are seeing improvements in productivity, along with increases in profits. For this upward trajectory to continue, however, industry executives and governmental representatives cannot be complacent. Production efficiency, energy costs, tax legislation and education access are integral to the success of the industry's current fiscal condition and need to be nurtured or reformed. If the current business environment is to last, there is still more work to do.
A report from the World Economic Forum identifies 31 proven practices to help companies achieve a "triple supply chain advantage" of increased revenue, a reduction in supply chain cost and added brand value. The practices also help companies shrink their carbon footprint and contribute to local development, including the health, welfare and working conditions of the communities in which they operate.
Historically, low-variation/high-volume production has been tweaked to gain optimal efficiencies and quality. Unfortunately for many manufacturers in the United States, manufacturing is now done in high-variation/low-volume environments.
Companies with centralized manufacturing have a single facility to produce and distribute their products or a central factory with multiple distribution points in their supply chain. A decentralized manufacturing company has multiple facilities that cover large areas, allowing products to be manufactured and distributed close to customers. Which is right for your enterprise?
Manufacturers typically evaluate seven critical areas when it comes to operational decision making: transportation and energy costs; market demand for their products; rising labor costs in China and other developing nations; access to talent, tax and regulatory policies; availability of capital; and currency trends.
A group of workers is poised to dominate industry, according to a report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers and The Manufacturing Institute. They are tireless and silent, and yet, incredibly disruptive.
Demand planning and forecasting projects are popular tactics today for boosting financial results and shareholder value-for good reason. They typically produce one-time and often significant inventory reductions but also higher inventory turns that allow organizations to sustain lower inventory levels over time. The results look great on paper, prompting executives to search for more ways to "optimize" inventory throughout the supply chain.
3D printing has captured the imagination of the media and the financial markets; prognosticators are predicting a fundamental disruption in the manufacturing paradigm, from mass production to mass customization. Are we finally achieving the "lot size of one" that Taiichi Ohno envisioned when creating the Toyota Production System? Will factories disappear as the "maker movement" drives demand toward custom-designed items created on 3D printers in the home? How will these changes affect the industrial supply chains?
Every organization of significant size struggles with alignment. When you talk with CEOs, alignment is often the number one issue on their plate. Even organizations with as few as 25 employees often struggle with what seems like a simple problem: How do I get everyone on the same page?