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How technology is increasing productivity in UK manufacturing

Today's guest blog is from Phil Lewis, Vice President of Solution Consulting for Europe, Infor

We hear a lot in the media about UK manufacturing lagging behind its Eurozone counterparts when it comes to productivity. Certainly this shouldn’t be the case – the UK sector should be leading the way globally. So what does the industry have to do to address this shortfall?

A traditional view is simply trying to do more with less as measured by GDP per employee. Many UK manufacturers understandably feel they have made all the productivity improvements to their processes that they can, implementing best practices in terms of Lean and Six Sigma strategies. However, just looking at the process side of productivity is a one dimensional view as it misses other facets of productivity that go beyond production, the role of the entire supply chain and the potential for technology to enable a strategic and informed approach to productivity.

This evolving view of productivity is why it’s one of the main themes of the EEF National Manufacturing Conference on 24 February in London, an event that Infor sponsors. Lisa Pope, SVP of Infor’s Global Strategy and Sales, will address the role of technology in spurring productivity in the manufacturing sector during ‘The productivity challenge’ panel discussion moderated by Tom Watson MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

As a provider of enterprise applications, Infor provides solutions to help manufacturing companies boost what we call the 4 Ps of Productivity. In the next four blogs in this series we’ll address in detail each of the Ps: Product, People, Processes and Partnerships. We’ll also share some interesting case studies of how some of our manufacturing customers have used technology as an enabler for their holistic productivity strategy.

A few of the solutions we’ll share include:

  • Creating collaborative social ecosystems

  • Automating the human work chain

  • Moving to a make-to-order, customisation model rather than a build-it and stock-it model

  • Using the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 to predict problems and proactively solve them 

When each of the 4Ps is enhanced to meet the expectations of today’s supply chain and consumer, and is bolstered by the best technological solutions, we’ve seen manufacturers achieve real gains.

If you have questions or comments about this different approach to productivity, visit our booth on the conference exhibition floor or shoot me an email at phil.lewis@infor.com.

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