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Build Your Business: The CEO’s Strategic Plan For Manufacturing

Many manufacturing companies in the United States have needed to reimagine how to produce goods and services, with many businesses bringing production back to the USA. The last few years have thrown a curveball into the global economy on every level, disrupting supply chains, bottlenecking major ports, and disappointing consumers across the world. Wars, a pandemic, global inflation, higher transportation costs, and the Great Resignation have all played a significant part in this disruption. What is a company to do with a growing number of obstacles that conspire against your production goals? Fusion for Industry has created a CEO strategic plan to assist with overcoming production challenges and future-proof your bottom line.

Why You Need a Strategic Plan?

Whether you are a small business or large corporation, companies of all sizes should have a strategic plan for growth. Hitachi’s 2024 mid-term strategic plan is proof that we know a thing or two about next-level innovation and reorienting a company for future growth.

Hitachi Ltd., with over 100 years of manufacturing experience know-how, has been well ahead of today’s insights. The Japanese multinational conglomerate founded in 1910 has long understood that a company’s success is reliant upon connectivity and synergy between supply chains, software, processes, automation, and even geographical location. It was under this idea that Hitachi’s Fusion for Industry was born, which is wholly focused on supporting the North American manufacturing industry.

Manufacturing Plan

Its five entities, JR Automation , Flexware InnovationSullair , Hitachi Industrial Equipment & Solutions America, and Telesis Technologies, are all headquartered in the American heartland, together supporting the vision of sustainable, in-house operations, with automation at the center of it all.

Both automation and streamlining in manufacturing are crucial to the success of a business and, in fact, have become an urgent need. With supply chain disruptions and labor shortages at an all-time high, efficient factory production and automation are ramping up in a big way. So much so that in 2021 the President of the United States signed an executive order strengthening the buying of American provisions to ensure that the future of America is made by Americans.

In the same year, the President also signed an Executive Order to strengthen the resilience of America’s supply chains, stressing the importance of moving all manufacturing to US soil, which subsequently will result in greater generational success and security for these operations.

Robotic Engineer
Robotic Automation

This all may seem impossible; however, Hitachi can help. Their wealth of industrial knowledge and prowess can guide you in integrating automation and seamless supply chain solutions into a lucrative growth plan for future success.  

Currently, 64% of companies will increase their technological investment in robotics and automation, predictive and prescriptive analytics, sensors, automatic identification, and more within the next two years. To not be a part of this is to be left behind.

Robotic Automation

Strategy #2: Bring Your Production Back to the United States

The first item of consideration is reevaluating your supply chain process and identifying ways to make it more resilient to global shocks. Which parts or channels can be consolidated, and which should be diversified? Factoring in where your products are produced, how they are being distributed, and where they are being fulfilled are all critical factors in your strategic planning process.

Right now, it takes 20-30 days for cargo to cross the Pacific Ocean; however, in today’s unpredictable climate, those numbers could be much higher. Offshore production is no longer an acceptable business risk for those serving the American demand machine.

Just in January of 2022, a record 105 container ships were waiting for berths in Los Angeles and Long Beach, more than three times the amount a year prior, hiccuping the rest of the process. Bringing production closer to the home greatly avoids the many disruptions of transporting goods halfway across the world, giving you greater control over your business.

American Production

Strategy #3: Connective Industry

The road map to success is based on connectivity. Hitachi is expanding its portfolio holding of companies with the goal of creating more robust connective industry offerings to link ordering, supply chain, and shipping solutions into one, providing a one-stop-shop approach for customers with broad capabilities under one roof.

Automation, smart manufacturing, and digitizing processes are also profoundly impacting supply chain operations. While 74% of manufacturers believe that smart manufacturing will increase competition and are redesigning their manufacturing organizations, fewer than half of supply chain leaders have a plan to implement a digital transformation roadmap.

Hitachi can alleviate this problem for you. Committed to a vision of technological advancement, we are looking to close the gap between the digital world and the physical one through automation, as stated in the Hitachi 2024 Mid-Term Management Plan.

Robotic Operation
Digital Automation for Warehouse

This includes the development of sophisticated manufacturing lines that utilize robots to eliminate labor shortages and improve efficiency as well as building stronger supply chains that are able to fully utilize the latest data.

JR Automation, a member of Hitachi’s Fusion for Industry family, automates both smaller operation-assisted systems and larger fully-automated robotic lines for distribution and manufacturing facilities using digital technologies tied to enterprise resource planning. Additionally, the company seeks to maximize your investments with deep expertise on refurbishing out-of-service robotics and utilizing current footprints. JR Automation’s service engineers offer greater value for money in integrating robots and automation into your existing operational footprint and processes. Pairing JR Automation automation with Flexware Innovation’s digital integration services will allow you to increase productivity, efficiency, and consistency.

To best facilitate digital integration services, Flexware Innovation has decentralized their architecture. This means that customers can make changes to and update their technology with little to no impact on the rest of the technology used within their enterprise or at their local plant, ensuring seamless integrations.  

Strategy #4: Worker Retention and Recruitment

The long-term effect of automation is more than just improved efficiency; it also greatly affects the safety, well-being, and overall satisfaction of your workforce. Robotic trucks and autonomous forklifts can transfer, carry, and place heavy loads, and automated processes and robotics can increase productivity in a reduced amount of time. Additionally, scenarios where employees may be prone to accident or injury are greatly reduced, as a machine rather than a human can do the job. Essentially, you can achieve more using less.

Factory Worker Retention

Manual jobs have been replaced with robots, and your employees are able to experience an improved worklife balance while focusing on a holistic company strategy than tactical tasks. Overall, automation can retain employees, minimize workplace injuries, and improve overall well-being.

Considering the current state of the workforce economy, where labor shortages have become industry commonplace, automation replaces the human bodies needed to keep the machines up and running, thus reducing your labor needs and, in turn, your labor costs.

Strategy #5: Growth and Expansion

From large-scale corporations to small-scale mom-and-pop shops, automation is not a “one size fits all” concept. Each individual business regardless of footprint can utilize the advantages of automation without an “all or nothing” commitment. Rather, they should review their current manufacturing process and determine what can be optimized and automated without having to worry about sacrificing any component of the product. This opens doors of opportunity. For example, smaller businesses will be able to meet the demands of larger ones when automation is incorporated into the process, minimizing the gap between the two entities.

Manufacturing Plan

This may seem like an impossible feat, one where you don’t know where to start, but Hitachi can, and will, help you get there. Through their network of partnerships, over 800 consolidated subsidiaries, and wide scope of industries ranging from robotic automation to data storage, marking and coding, industrial air compressors, and more, Hitachi’s decades-long expertise in the industrial sector will help you not only meet, but exceed, your goals, which will set you up for generational success. Business transformation is only one call away. Reach out to Hitachi today!

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