Speed-to-market plays a key role in your manufacturing or engineering business. It’s a critical advantage that can help you bring new products to your customers first. And possibly corner the market. But fostering a conducive environment for innovations to bloom is not enough. This is a battle that stretches from development, sales, and production.
In other words, it’s a marathon. Not a sprint.
Here are some hurdles you may face in your efforts to bring your products to market faster.
Why is speed so important?
As Benjamin Franklin once stated, “Time is money.” And speed-to-market can make, or take your money.
- Your customers are under pressure to deliver fast.
- A fact that can expose your business relationships to competitors who can reach your customers with new products, services, or simply the right offer at the right time.
- First-to-market competitors may dominate the market.
- Your focus on quality is a strength. However, the resulting lack of speed may provide competitors a chance to reach the market first and dominate it with a product that’s just “good enough,” or even substandard.
- Your business is locked in a race to the bottom.
- In an ideal scenario, strong customer relationships and higher quality can win deals. The reality, however, is that businesses are risking their industry lead to engage in price wars--and emerge with devastated profits or worse, reputation.
If these points seem familiar, you will want to know how you can optimize your speed to market.
Speed-to-Market Hack #1: Update your Shopfloor
The phrase “a dollar spent is a dollar earned” is apt when it comes to your production floor. Industry 4.0 success is not just automating the production line or upgrading machines with sensors. Emerging technology such as autonomous and self-optimizing robots, additive manufacturing, or the Industrial Internet of Things, are changing the manufacturing industry.
We now have countless options to build smarter factories with better performance that can catapult a manufacturer to the top of the market. The only thing to note is that upgrading your production equipment results in capital expenditure that might be beyond your current scope.
Plus, production speed does not necessarily translate into speed-to-market. Let’s look further.
Speed-to-Market Hack #2: Note The Human Factor
Maximizing employee productivity is crucial for putting your company on the fast track. An efficient and productive employee’s impact can be felt, even if your factories are equipped with advanced process automation. To dramatically increase productivity, you can conduct a thorough analysis of workflows and tasks, followed by re-allocating human resources to tasks that add more value.
But monitoring and refining your engineering or development teams, plus offering bonuses for exceeding quotas can only ever be half the battle. On top of that perform a thorough review of management and productivity tools (or the lack thereof) and you will often uncover stumbling blocks, which brings us to:
Speed-to-Market Hack #3: One Manufacturing Sales Platform
Maintaining a collection of business processes, productivity tools or isolated systems that don’t integrate can become your biggest speed-to-market bump. Your data is the lifeblood of the business. If the data doesn’t flow, your business won’t receive any momentum.
Features of a well-balanced platform are:
- Complete CAD integration for ETO development and tender composition
- Real-time product, configuration, materials, and process data for sales
- Deep back-end ties as detailed as ERP Order Split options for faster production
Summary: Digitalize End-to-End
Speed-to-market is determined by a series of factors. Your efforts in improving operational performance can often distract from the actual need to digitize the entire development-to-production chain. In order to achieve long-term efficiency and productivity, a well-integrated platform with a number of connectors can help you bring new innovations to the market faster. Do you want to learn how to build a sustainable strategy to respond to current and future manufacturing sales challenges?