Recent global and domestic trends have exposed risks to which manufacturers cannot afford to turn a blind eye. Supply chain disruptions demand adjustments to parts and force delayed lead times. Material Shortages and price inflation paired with geographical political issues impact the cost of goods sold and demand rapid innovation in product designs and manufacturing processes to increase efficiencies and savings.
These challenges have forced many electronics manufacturers – especially those in the automotive industry – to reconsider how their products are made. And, this has introduced a heightened demand for agile methodology in the design, manufacturing, and production processes alike.
Agile Manufacturing Matters
Agile Manufacturing allows us to manage risks, find solutions, and change manufacturing processes and schedules to make sure that products are delivered on time, and we can pivot quickly to meet shifts in short-term customer demand for new products.
WHY AN AGILE MANUFACTURING PROCESS?
Everything from quality management to plant floor layout is strategically addressed by an agile manufacturer. You can likely recognize an agile production facility by its mix of flexible workbenches combined with new technology. This enables each facility to rapidly conduct changeovers and pivot to meet customer needs as market demands change, product life cycles evolve, and supply chain issues arise.
Agile manufacturing processes encompass data-driven forecasting and continuous improvement, drive visibility and communication around common problems such as materials shortages or price increases, and rapidly identify and deploy solutions that minimize the impact on product delivery and customer satisfaction. For example, an agile organization can modify a part design, and relay out the work, with speed so your delivery rates don’t flatline.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF AGILE MANUFACTURING?
Here are five things that may look different when you prioritize agility in your electronics manufacturing process and lean on an agile contract manufacturing partner throughout the process:
1 – Less RMA: Agile companies get ahead of quality issues so you can shrink your return rate from 2% to 0.2%.
2 – Lower costs: Agility can positively impact both the direct costs of goods sold and avoid opportunity costs, allowing brands to deliver customers an uninterrupted flow of products at a great value.
3 – Growth in capacity despite workforce challenges: The right agile Contract Manufacturing partner serves as an extension of engineering, supply chain, operations, and financial management, and provides strategic expertise throughout your manufacturing strategy.
4 – Shortened time to market for new products: An agile approach with a Contract Manufacturer can shorten your time to go to market as market demands shift. So, instead of solving supply chain and manufacturability challenges – you can focus more time on having conversations with customers to gather insights on the next big thing.
5- Improved visibility into the manufacturing process for better forecasting: Agility can mitigate risk through a combination of forecasting and nimble changes and/or optimizations to the manufacturing process. Transparency in communication with a contract manufacturing partner from product development through customer delivery is critical for customers seeking a competitive advantage.
SO…HOW DO I INTRODUCE AGILITY INTO MY ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURING PROCESS?
Manufacturers must combine technological innovation in electronic manufacturing with agility.
1 – Accept digital transformation and technology.
The right digital technology and internal culture can help manufacturers, in particular, maximize visibility, access real-time data, and make quick decisions.
2 – Design your manufacturing process for adaptability and scale-ability.
Your processes must be adaptable and scalable as well. To keep your competitive edge, you must ensure that your processes can change in real-time to meet market demands. Better yet, be able to take a proactive rather than reactive approach.
3 – Reshore your supply chain.
By working with an American-based Contract Manufacturer with a strong domestic network of suppliers, you are automatically decreasing risk, baking in time savings, agility, and embedding a backup plan.
4 – Use a Contract Manufacturer with agile competencies and an agile framework.
Each Contract Manufacturer operates differently. Here at Amtech, our business model is designed for agility. We even developed our own operating system, Amtech OS, which allows us to develop and make changes quickly.
5 – Demand collaboration and transparency from your contract manufacturing partner.
Choose strong partnerships with agreed-to agile practices that are designed to keep costs down and stabilize your supply chain without compromising on delivery time or quality – all while maintaining visibility into production.
WHAT IS AGILE LIKE WITH AMTECH?
Agile at Amtech isn’t just something that we say, but something that we live. It is ingrained in everything that we do – we have literally hard-coded our systems around agility. We work alongside our customers in a trusted partnership—where we handle your advanced manufacturing challenges so you can focus on what you do best: innovating new technologies and meeting your customers’ needs.
To launch your next project with Amtech, contact us here.