Presenting Change In The Manufacturing Industry

Presenting ideas for changes to a manufacturing company's process, whether it be an automotive company, shipbuilding manufacturer or art manufacturer, is essential to improve and grow the company.

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Jennifer HartwellJennifer Hartwell

Employees are at the forefront of any manufacturing company. Each day they work, they see and learn the ins and outs of their company. They have the ideal position to locate what is and isn’t working within the company itself, whether it’s a process, a system, checklist, or some other aspect of manufacturing. This gives them the advantage of being able to know what changes will be able to help the company.

However, these employees are also at a disadvantage. Because they are usually not the ones who have the high ranking power, they don’t have the opportunity or authority to create change. To help improve any manufacturing company, as well and better the company’s bottom line, it is important for these employees to have a chance to present their change initiative idea to management. These hard-working employees who see the benefits of change should be able to present and hopefully implement their change with management buy-in by following a few easy tips, tricks, and steps.

Just like any company needs an effective manufacturing process and set of guidelines in order to make a profit, these employees with change initiative ideas also need to make sure that when presenting to upper management they have an effective process and set of rules/guidelines.

Steps to Get Your Managers to Say “Yes!”

There are tons of tactics to persuade manufacturing management to agree to the necessary changes that are needed, but not all of them are effective or guaranteed. There is a reason that this particular change hasn’t been implemented yet. Either management isn’t aware of the situation, they don’t feel the change is necessary, or there isn’t proper funding for the change. In order to get results, you need to use the appropriate tactics for the specific case that your change

Management is Unaware

As a crucial member of the company and one who spends day-in and day-out working on specific tasks, you are the first to be aware of when a change is needed. This often results in having to present these completely new, yet potentially effective and efficient ideas to management.

As a new idea, you need to be prepared with as much information about the change initiative as possible. Every aspect of this change with be scrutinized and the more information and direction provided by you, the easier the decision to say yes for them. Be clear that this can not only positively affect the work you’re doing, but will greatly benefit the business either in the short or long run.

Management Doesn’t See the Need

While this is not the ideal situation, it is not impossible to turn the change initiative around and get it into effect. Presenting a change that management doesn’t feel is necessary puts you in the position to convince them otherwise.

Most likely, they’ve already gone over the pros and cons of the change, so now it’s your job to create a positive argument in defense of all the benefits that will come from this. Use your fellow employees as leverage by having them help you convince management that this change is necessary, it will be beneficial. Using real statistical information is key. The more you show the numbers, the more it will help you.

No Funding For Change

As another non-ideal situation, there is only so much you can do in this case. Presenting ideas to decrease costs in other areas to afford the change shows a passion for the change that may make management find the funding for the initiative. Drive and determination are key when it comes to change, and can make all the difference. If there is simply no way to get your change implemented now, present it as an initiative for the next quarter. 

Understanding Both Sides of Manufacturing

In the manufacturing industry it is not only important to have your manufacture workers involved, but also engineers. By combining these two sides of a company to come up with a presentation to upper-management you can create a more convincing presentation. The manufacturing side can tell you how a certain aspect isn't working and the engineering side can show upper management how the change idea can be implemented in the new design as well as how much work it will take to create this change.

Presenting ideas for changes to a manufacturing company's process, whether it be an automotive company, shipbuilding manufacturer or art manufacturer, is essential to improve and grow the company.

By combining forces with both the engineering and manufacturing sides of the company, researching how this change will help the company, and presenting to upper-management how their buy-in will increase their bottom line, will help senior executives see the need for change. 

Jennifer Hartwell is the Product Marketing Manager at Revitas, Inc.

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