The Tyranny of the Urgent Could Sink Discrete Manufacturers

By:  Patrick Dunfey | Vice President of Marketing and Sales Enablement at Anark - September 20, 2021

There’s a difference between urgent and important tasks. In many organizations, the urgent tasks get acted upon while the important tasks wait.

There’s a lot of urgency in manufacturing right now. OEMs and suppliers are trying to right the wrongs within their supply chains and solve the vulnerabilities that were exposed throughout the pandemic.

One of the best examples of something that is ‘important’ but might not be ‘on fire’ enough to warrant the immediate marshalling of resources is the process for sharing engineering data and insight with expert and non-expert users across the supply chain.

Why is it important? Simple. A manufacturer who can do this well is able to deliver higher quality products, faster, with lower costs. That’s the upside of developing this competency now.

But upside alone isn’t always enough to motivate action. Dealing with the tyranny of the urgent can overshadow the important pursuit of improvement. People may know something is important, while no one is actually working on getting it done.

Just look around your organization and ask, “Who is actively working on developing our competency to share high fidelity engineering data and insight all across the supply chain?”

If you find that’s a hard question to answer, then you can be certain that some or all of these realities await your firm:

  • Fractioned mini-networks. There will be an increasing divide, and knowledge gap, between the group of people who use ERP, PLM and other specialized platforms as part of their daily routine, and others who don’t. The latter group will be out of the loop, resulting in questions, indecision, and communication breakdown.
  • Drain on innovation. More time than necessary will be spent on low-level problems; solving issues that should be avoided or addressed with better collaboration and access to data and insight. This will divert attention and resources away from exploration and innovation. Ultimately, the customer experience and competitiveness will suffer.
  • Loss of key clients and market share. For OEMs, everything is on the table to be reassessed. Manufacturing is in a unique period where deep introspection and investigation into supply chain is encouraged. The next year or two is a unique climate where mass change of vendor relationships will be the norm. For some, this will mean loss of market share.
  • Higher costs. Manufacturers who don’t embrace the opportunity ahead will operate at a cost disadvantage compared to rivals who have connected their people to the digital thread.

Whether you want to call the sharing of data and insight across your supply chain ‘urgent’ or ‘important’, what matters more is that you have a plan for how to make it happen.

For an excellent primer on how to move forward, get our new eBook, How to Leverage Model-Based Engineering Data Across Your Supply Chain with Half the Cost (And None of the Fear)

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