Saturday, October 20, 2007

Why Manufacturing Excellence?

I chose Manufacturing Excellence as the name for my Blog because it seemed the most appropriate for the Supply Chain Management, Design, Engineering, Operations Management, Production Control, and Planning topics in which I am particularly interested. Supply Chain and Operations topics touch our daily lives in so many ways, but unfortunately many people are not interested in them because they often seem to be mundane, unglamorous roles in business. I hope to change that mentality, or at the very least show people that there are interesting things going on around them everyday that they may be totally unaware of.

As businesses evolve and global markets allow new models to develop, manufacturing would appear to be a dinosaur of industry. Why would you even want to build or assemble something in a country with expensive labor when you could build the same thing in country X, Y, or Z (Japan back in the mid part of the century, later Taiwan & Korea, currently China). The aforementioned question is fine for a commodity product and sometimes other items, but especially with the industries I am most interested in (Automotive, High Tech, & Military) the low cost unit price does not always mean the lowest cost to the company overall. This may seem counterintuitive, but there are many costs involved in legal/intellectual property issues, cultural issues, transportation and logistics, quality, etc. Therefore, especially in industries with short product lifecycles and complex products, you will often find companies attempting to enable their supply chains and gain a competitive advantage in responsiveness (time) and/or quality.

In summary, I am hoping to make Manufacturing Excellence an amalgam of news, ideas, and anything that is both educational and entertaining! Manufacturing and plant tours are simply one of the best ways to learn while being entertained, and the visuals often add elements to the experience that words alone cannot convey. Learning as much as you can and then applying the knowledge at your own workplace will allow you to contribute to your own company's Manufacturing Excellence!

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