The Changing Face of Manufacturing

Friday 2 May 2014

The manufacturing industry is constantly facing competition not only on a national level but also internationally, with many customers choosing to either have products made abroad or importing products from other countries. For many manufacturers, dropping the quality of a product is out of the question and as a nation of historically recognised manufacturers how is it possible to compete with other markets yet still produce the same great quality products, build on a brand, increase footprint and maintain a positive reputation?


Our office in Staffordshire is not too far from Iron Bridge which in 1709 laid claim to the title of the world’s first Iron Foundry and for more than 100 years Britain was seen as the world’s leading industrial nation, with ‘new technology’ being developed through innovation, imagination and finance, this saw British innovators leading the way and influencing many countries around the world.


In recent years we have heard that the British Manufacturing industry is in dire straights and that it is at an all-time low, and yes in part this is true we are no longer No.1 in the league tables but we sit at around No.11.
British manufacturing makes up 11% of UK GVA* (Gross value added), 54% of UK exports and directly employs 2.6 million people. The UK-based auto industry exported a record-breaking 84% of its production in 2011 and the chemical and pharmaceutical industries add £20m per day to the UK balance of trade. Underpinning these important statistics is an average annual productivity increase of 3.6% – two and a half times greater than the UK economy as a whole.

The UK manufacturing industry is based on great service, innovation and quality products with company slogans like ‘A product of hard work’ and ‘Grace, space and pace’ backing up these theories and best practice.

The 1990’s saw the explosion and revised working practices which would again drastically change the way in which the manufacturing industry worked; it was to be called lean manufacturing with the core idea to maximize customer value while minimizing waste, in turn more output with less input. By and large this theory is used within all manufacturing sectors. But the manufacturing industry still hasn’t quite embraced digital compared to other industries. Many companies do have ERP systems, financial, stock & inventory management solutions, supply chain analysis and HR systems but how many of these systems communicate and report as a single output? The manufacturing industry practices lean manufacturing when it comes to its outputs but not when it comes to back office operations.

We are currently experiencing a data explosion and data growth is estimated to reach 650% over the next 5 years. Whether you call it big data, extra work or an opportunity, it’s here and it’s only growing. In order to take control of the data explosion it is essential that you have a data strategy, it could be as complex and expensive as employing an extra 50 people and cutting down a small rain forest in order to deal with all of the printing you’re going to have to do, or you could look at adding a business analytics solution to give you complete clarity and analysis over all of your disparate systems.

CXAIR by Connexica allows you, the manufacturer to have full access to your data. With its simple and easy to use interface, CXAIR allows you the user to quickly and easily interpret your data and turn data into meaningful and actionable information. You will be able to see patterns emerging in data and understand where you can improve practices, reduce cost and improve on output plus many more benefits. CXAIR takes all of your disparate systems and places the data into indexes meaning all of your data in is one central place, indexes are much quicker to search than a traditional data warehouse meaning real time analysis can be performed.

German company Resmed recently turned to Connexica for help. The company had implemented a customised version of Microsoft’s ERP solution ‘Dynamics NAV’ in their German office and needed to access up-to-date financial information reports without impacting the front end ERP system.

To read more about Resmeds experience with CXAIR please click here.

To find out how Connexica’s CXAIR can improve your practices and give your clarity over your disparate systems contact us today

Get in touch to discuss your requirements further