Solve This Investment Paradox to Win with Manufacturing This Year  

A recent study by The Manufacturing Institute and Cognizant asked U.S. manufacturing leaders how to prioritize current investments to boost growth. In Study: How Firms Would Invest a Marginal Dollar with Their Company, an article published by, leaders said their top priorities were building a robust and trained workforce (73.7%), improving processes and operations (60.2%), optimizing equipment (53.4%), funding new equipment (51.7%), and investing in new technologies (46.6%).

From this list, it’s clear that manufacturers want to make the most of what they already have – empowering talent with the right skills, building better processes, and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) — before laying out new cash for more equipment and technology. 

Using Digital Technology to Increase Business Value

However, new technology can often unlock more value from current resources, creating a decision-making conundrum. For example, digital solutions that surface real-time production data empower manufacturing workers to identify anomalies and improve productivity, throughput, and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

Manufacturing decision-makers understand that balance. Survey respondents say new technology helps them achieve production cost efficiencies (78.79%), improve operational performance (73.74%), improve product and process quality (72.73%), maintain market competitiveness (50.51%), and develop new products and services (46.46%). So, by investing in new technology, companies can generate cost savings that fund future, growth-oriented investments.

Operational Efficiency Is a Growth Imperative Manufacturers Control

Optimizing operations is also a driver of growth that companies can control. While the number-one strategy for driving growth was a stronger domestic economy and sales of products, at 69.49%, manufacturers are being buffeted by high-interest rates, volatile customer demand, and the higher cost of capital, just like other industries. As a result, they can’t necessarily count on a continued growth trajectory in challenging economic conditions. On the other hand, increasing efficiencies in the production process, the second choice at 67.8%, is in-scope for any manufacturing company.

QAD Redzone works with companies that want to create more value from what they already possess. QAD Redzone is a next-generation platform that uses mobile, social collaboration technology; automated data capture; IIoT devices; coaching; and team motivational techniques to unlock the creativity and drive of the frontline workforce.

How QAD Redzone Solves Production Challenges

Manufacturers often come to us when they’re facing challenges with issues such as:

  • Automating processes: “We wanted to move off paper-based processes and increase operational efficiencies,” says Amy Sena, Vice President of Quality Control, at T.H.E.M. (Technical Help in Engineering and Marketing), a New Jersey-based contract packager. “Our supervisors and operators were tracking critical production data by hand, including how many sticks and units we produced per hour, our yield loss, and product quality. As a result, answering customer questions about production and conducting mock recalls could take two to three days.”
  • Gaining real-time visibility into operations: “We saw how QAD Redzone could take us to the next level by providing us with real-time tracking on how we’re performing day-to-day in terms of our OEE, availability, and quality,” says Kyle Dutcher, Quality Manager, Haviland Enterprises, Inc., which provides creative chemistry services. “We also knew that QAD Redzone would provide more structure to our huddles and daily vital sign meetings and involve our workers in solving production issues.”
  • Upskilling staff: Oregon Freeze Dry, North America’s largest diversified lyophilizer and freeze-dryer, used to spend six months training new hires on its processes. New staff struggled to manage the deluge of content, while leaders couldn’t ensure consistency of training across all workers.

    The company’s training staff have used QAD Redzone to convert 99 documents into 50 interactive learning packs, with instant translation into users’ languages. Operators can scan QR codes on plaques in any room to access videos on how to use equipment and complete other production processes. As a result, new hires are now trained in just two to three weeks.

Manufacturers that deploy the QAD Redzone Connected Workforce Solution achieve an average OEE uplift of 14 points and a productivity boost of 29% in just 90 days. They also unlock between $728K and $1.4M in cost savings in the same timeframe. They achieve further gains as they deploy the Compliance, Reliability, and Learning modules.

With new technology, overcoming production challenges is easier, improving revenues and profitability.

Learn more about QAD Redzone.

2023 Productivity Benchmark Report

1,000 Factories’ Productivity Data: The Largest Dataset of Its Kind ...

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