Innovation in manufacturing can take many forms, from new technology and changes in the supply chain to product and process improvements. Innovation offers many important advantages to businesses and is often key to outperforming the competition.
Benefits of innovation for manufacturing business
Continuous innovation in manufacturing can help you to gain a competitive advantage and achieve:
- greater responsiveness to customer demands
- faster turnaround times
- reduced waste levels and downtime
- improved product design and quality
- greater potential for a wider product range
- streamlined relationships with suppliers and customers
Read also about the advantages and disadvantages of just-in-time production.
Introducing innovation to your business requires time and money. You can introduce innovation either gradually or in one go. The timeframe will depend upon a range of factors including:
- the specific changes you want to introduce
- the availability of resources to complete them quickly
- if you need to stagger disruptions to your production capacity while the transition is being made
Keep in mind that product and service innovation is often expensive and competitors can easily copy it. See how to protect innovative ideas and practices in manufacturing.
Manufacturing innovation examples
Broadly speaking, you can introduce four different types of innovation in your manufacturing business. You can introduce innovation in:
- sourcing - eg changing raw materials or suppliers in the supply chain
- processes - eg modifying production method to reduce turnaround time, cut costs, etc
- management - eg introducing new methods or processes of carrying out business
- technology - eg using new technical solutions to change the manufacturing process
Technology innovation in manufacturing
New technologies are changing how goods are manufactured across the world. Faster, more innovative technologies can:
- make your employees more efficient
- speed up your production
- improve your customer service delivery
Businesses that adopt new technologies are generally more successful in finding new ways to compete and thrive in modern markets. See more on using technology in manufacturing and find examples of digital innovation in business.
You can also undertake innovation in more than one area in your business. Find more innovation opportunities in manufacturing.