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Respond to market changes flexibly
In the manufacturing industry, there are many cases even within the same company where business process and coding system are different for each business unit and product. Many companies have strategic business unit and based on the idea that maximizing the sales and profits of each business unit will lead to the corporate earnings, individual optimization for each business unit and product has been prioritized over overall optimization as a company. In other words, it can be said that company that has taken bold decisions based on the decision making abilities of its charismatic managers across the business have grown significantly.
However, management that depends on the judgment of charismatic managers can be attractive, but can also be a double-edged sword for a company. At present in the rapidly changing growth business and growing markets, information that supports to make a decision at the right time is indispensable for making changes and decisions with a sense of speed that surpasses the competitors. Of course, it is the person who makes the decision, but NEC thinks that at least the information that provides the basis for making the best decisions at any given time will be required.
So far, NEC has mentioned about the necessity of information linkage in engineering and manufacturing and information required for management to make decisions. Now, we would like to think from the perspective whether available information is necessary and sufficient?
From now on, in order to win through global competition focusing on emerging markets, it is necessary to respond flexibly and quickly to the changes in the market. Following the theory of evolution of living things for the survival of the company, it is said that "Is the living thing that survives in this world the most powerful? No, it is not. Is it the most intelligent? No, it is not. As it is said that it is a living thing that can respond to changes", therefore “capable of responding to changes" is an element of prosperity.
What would be the necessary and sufficient conditions for “respond to changes”.
First of all, the information is required to understand the situation correctly. On the other hand, if the information is available, but conditions with respect to the “respond to changes” for using such information are not necessary and sufficient.
It is people who make decisions (although there are some recent movements such as applying AI to management decisions).
Company is structured with "people" and "organizations", and the people and organizations support the economic activities (manufacturing, sales, services, etc.) provided by such company.
If economic activities (manufacturing, sales, services, etc.) carried out by people and organizations are subdivided and then it can be considered as a close chain of information that leads up to the series of code system in order to manage various master information such as products, parts, processes and equipment, jigs and tools that make up the business process and master information in orderly manner,
The discussion has been diverged from what we initially wanted to convey that even if the information required for “respond to changes” is available, but conditions with respect to the “respond to the changes” for using such information are not necessary and sufficient.
In addition to the information, NEC think that it is necessary and important to standardize the business process such as code system that is an element of business process.
Business processes and code systems that are simply consolidated from the view point of overall optimization will eliminate duplication and waste of company-wide operations. In addition, we think that IT infrastructure such as IT system (PLM or CAD) installed in each business unit can also be integrated.
How about looking back on minimum requirements (Information, work process) required for decision-making in your company, in order to respond flexibly to market changes?
Rather than waiting for a charismatic manager, don’t you feel realistic to form a mechanism (Integrated IT system, standardized business process) that can easily adapt to the working of the changing world day by day?
Manufacture the products that are sold in emerging countries
The number of companies that are promoting “Product planning in overseas” and “Product design in overseas” to manufacture products that meet the local needs of emerging countries have been increasing. However, even if a product is planned that reflects the local needs, there is also a problem that product concept becomes inconsistent during product development process. Specifically, the brand and concept of new product planned by the product planning department will be changed slightly as development phase progresses and by the time of shipment, the phenomenon that concept of end product is different from the original concept of product.
Even if you do local marketing and plan a product that reflects the requirements (VOC: Voice of customer) from the market and customer, expected sales result will not be obtained if such requirements are not accurately embodied and communicated to engineering and manufacturing.
Problem such as difficulty in transferring VOC to product development and BOM (Bill of material), relationship between market and customer’s requirements and specifications functions, configurations is not visible, difficult to understand whether the functions according to market and customer’s requirements are covered etc., have been raised.
If relationship between specifications definition, requirements, specifications, functions and configurations based on VOC are visualized, information of planning and concept phase is embodied as BOM at the time of planning phase and if such information is transferred to post process such as engineering, manufacturing etc, then it is possible to avoid the phenomenon that concept of end product is different from the original concept of the product.
In addition, after launching the product to the target market, NEC thinks that market competitiveness of the product can be improved continuously by giving feedback whether the released product function has obtained good market rating as targeted initially.
As a result, you can continue to launch the “Salable products” to market speedily.