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It has almost become a cliché to say that manufacturers are under constant pressure to deliver higher quality products at a lower cost. But this cliché happens to be true—especially in the plastics and rubber sector.
Given the sheer breadth of products you manufacture and the seemingly endless number of applications for these products, your target market is complex and constantly changing. Businesses and consumers continue to present you with unique demands around quality, timeline, regulatory compliance, and cost.
Cutting costs while keeping product quality high may be enough to keep you afloat. But if you want to grow your business and box out the competition, you’ll need to do more.
Here are 11 ways to do just that. We’ve organized our thoughts in three areas: optimizing operations, achieving control with machine integration, and connecting supply chains.
What are your biggest obstacles to delivering high-quality products efficiently? If you’re like most plastics and rubber manufacturers, you’re wrestling with volatile raw materials costs and intense price competition.
Here are four good ways to respond:
Embed lot traceability into your business processes. When you can track lots in your inventory all the way through your supply chain and shop floor processes—including regrinding and mixing—you gain much greater control over quality.
Achieving Control with Machine Integration
As we mentioned earlier, cutting costs is only one aspect of growing your business profitably—but it’s an important aspect. By identifying more opportunities to control your inventory, optimize your production and labor, and minimize waste, you can fight back against relentless margin pressures.
Focus your efforts in these three areas:
Connecting Supply Chains
So far, we’ve mainly discussed ways to get your house in order. How can you respond to competitive pressures that are affecting your customer demand, making order sizes harder to predict, and even threatening your product lifecycles?
Here are three possible approaches:
Connect your entire supply chain in the cloud. On-premise supply chain management (SCM) solutions tend to produce data siloes that keep stakeholders from seeing the complete picture. Cloud-based SCM, on the other hand, can deliver real-time self-service capabilities that foster greater collaboration.
Go deeper with your supply chain planning. When you can forecast demand reliably and balance it with capacity, you’ll have a much easier time delivering on SLAs—even in a highly volatile market.
Increase the flexibility of your master schedule updates. The right technology can help you make timelier course corrections.
These 11 tips will get you started on optimizing your plastics and rubber manufacturing business—but we’ve only scratched the surface. Find out how Plex Manufacturing Cloud can help you reach these goals and more by downloading our solution brochure.