You involve your customers in your manufacturing process innovation
When the Japanese car manufacturers started production in the UK they established new ways of working with their suppliers. They replaced the more traditional, adversarial trading relationships with partnerships, based on a willingness to help resolve problems and finding ways to improve performance.
Key Issues
·         To remain competitive in international markets, large organisations have learned to introduce new ways of working
·         The major equipment manufacturers and large companies generally have additional resources available to critically evaluate different methods
·         These companies have a vested interest in improving the cost, quality and delivery performance of their suppliers and want closer relationships with them
·         Many of these companies are willing to share their experience with key suppliers
·         They can be a good source of training materials and may provide experienced trainers needed to increase the skills of your employees:
o      Assistance is usually initially provided by their quality departments and may expand into other areas once improvements of mutual benefit are identified
o      Together, improvements can be made to many areas, for example:
o      Lead times for placing orders and making deliveries
o      Cost of ownership and the cost of quality
o      Design of components for ease of manufacture / assembly
o      Elimination of waste by understanding how to work together
o      Packaging, physical and environmental damage
·         Working closely with customers allows you to influence their product specifications and orientate your products to meet their requirements
·         On major change projects appropriate customers and suppliers should be involved in high level reviews, providing assistance when necessary 
·         What would your customer gain? Working closely with key suppliers allows them to work more flexibly, undertaking more work when required and providing support ,if needed
·         Introduce customers and suppliers to your workforce. This will enable your people to hear, first-hand what your partner companies expect and value
Factors for Success      
Factors to  Avoid
1.     You work with your customers and suppliers in partnership to gain mutual benefits
2.     You agree joint actions with partners and ensure they are implemented to deliver mutual benefits
3.     You share with partners information on successes and failures, determining the root cause
4.     You allocate resources to implementing any mutually beneficial improvements
1.     Not listening to customers and giving their requirements inadequate support
2.      “Second guessing” what customers want instead of asking them
3.     Failing to offer suppliers the support and training needed to improve
4.     Expecting improvement because senior managers have held discussions
5.     Building expectation and failing to deliver the improvements
Who does this apply to?
Senior management and their teams
Realisable Benefits
Closer relationships creating more business, leading to long term partnerships


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Monitoring and controlling process innovationsMonitoring and controlling process innovations

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Investing in manufacturing equipment