But what’s standing in its way?
Attention CEO’s and all managers as well….Collaboration can no longer be dismissed as a touchy-feely buzzword. If so, the results have been buzzing around for years and the Japanese got a jump on the U.S. in the auto industry during the 1970’s using the derivative processes of collaboration to facilitate Kanban and Kaizen, commonplace today. Smaller manufacturing organizations are finding one of the greatest contributors to fault-free manufacturing & fulfillment, improved gross margins, enhanced communications, enterprise-wide is to do away with the politics of departmental “silos” and foster collaboration at all levels, top-to-bottom.
Silos you ask….what are silos….politics gone awry or what? The phrase “silo effect” has become popular in business and especially in manufacturing during the late 20th century. It commonly refers to a lack of open communication and common goals between departments in an organization. This “silo effect” got its name from the farm storage silo. In it, each silo is designated for one grain or specific product. To a manufacturing executive, a lack of communication and “silo thinking” causes departmental breakdowns and a lack of free-flowing ideas from other departments. (See: Internal Silos Harm Vendor Collaborations – http://bit.ly/OXi7P6).
According to research and best business practices (See: http://bit.ly/10x1Kx5) several factors often facilitate collaboration in business:
Collaboration…the ability to work together especially in business is raising key concerns for organizations taking on new approaches to improve performance and outcomes. Because leaders are looking for positive signs that acquiring collaboration tools will impact the bottom line, an organization may also need to consider its communication and collaboration practices.
A progressive manager….whether the chief operating officer or the senior engineer of an OEM needs to come to terms with transformational collaboration. The era of the silo mentality when decisions are isolated between teams; communication is limited, the culture is guarded and closed; empowering teams to share intelligence across multiple departmental barriers will become commonplace in the foreseeable future. As results and margins are eroded, the excuse of geopolitical events and foreign competition will ring less true than the lack of collaboration within OEM’s that otherwise quicken the pace of adaption and transformative change that have been watchwords of our most successful tech industries and the principles of which are spreading globally.
About the author
Jim Mayer has spent more than 30 years of advising, managing and directing smaller businesses as a consultant and operational manager. He is a director at M-Wave International, LLC (www.mwav.com) – a Value-added Supplier of assemblies and custom products located in Itasca, Illinois. He can be contacted at: email@example.com.
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