SOURCE: Manufacturing Digital

Manufacturing Digital

April 20, 2012 14:29 ET

How Lean Thinking Helped Manufacturers Weather the Storm, in Manufacturing Digital

NORWICH, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Apr 20, 2012) - Gary Wyles, Managing Director of Festo Training and Consulting, considers how the recent economic downturn has allowed manufacturing companies to reflect on how they can operate more efficiently.

A few years ago, many manufacturers were in the unenviable position of laying people off as demand for manufactured products declined. The more astute used the reduced production time to think differently, act differently and make the most of what they had. Some people were inevitably made redundant, but those that will weather the storm best, will be those that thought about future requirements in the business, looked at the skills and competencies they would need most in the next five years and ironed-out any inefficiencies within their operations.

By definition, market downturns have a direct impact on the results of a business. Traditional Key Performance Indicators such as sales and profitability will be affected. Such measures are of course vital, but they tend to tell us more about what has happened, rather than what is going to happen. To consider only KPIs may distract managers and directors towards actions that improve short term results, but in doing so remove the ability of the business to recover in the medium term. To focus on these also transmit negative messages to stakeholders, setting up a spiral of negativity which can drive the business deeper into problems.

Clearly KPIs cannot be ignored, but an organisation can create a more positive spiral if it also considers the drivers of the results. Improvements in these areas are generally predictors of future success.

Read the full article at:

About Manufacturing Digital

Manufacturing Digital is a leading digital media source of news and content for C-level executives focused on business and up-to-date news in the manufacturing industry. Manufacturing Digital is the industry-dedicated arm of the WDM Group. Founded in 2007 by entrepreneur Glen White, WDM Group retains a diversified portfolio of websites, magazines, mobile apps, daily news feeds and weekly e-newsletters that leverage technology to innovatively deliver high-quality content, analytical data, and industry news.

Manufacturing Digital is headquartered in San Diego, California, with additional offices in Boston, Toronto, Mumbai, and Norwich, England. For more information, contact 1-760-827-7800 or visit

Contact Information