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.
If there's one story that's been beaten to death by the media in search of feel-good news from what’s been a pretty tepid economic recovery, it's that of the supposed manufacturing renaissance in the U.S.
In order to prepare for increased customer-driven demand, many small and mid-sized manufacturers are planning to increase capital spending and hiring in the coming year. But to maximize the benefits of staffing and investment growth decisions - and to ensure that operations can support spikes in demand as quickly as possible - CFOs and other financial executives should first consider implementing a comprehensive cycle-time reduction program.