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The Australian manufacturing industries are facing disruptive changes as a result of the increasing prevalence of digital technologies, providing major opportunities and challenges in product and production innovation. With the correct approach and responding positively to the inherent challenges and opportunities, Australian manufacturing firms who are not only technologically sophisticated, but are also agile, adaptive and efficient will be most likely to excel.

Strive to create engaged, cross-functional teams

How your company deals with the on-going arrival of new technologies is an issue which every company faces. Are your existing techniques and technological products or services best equipped to help your company? Best practices in performance management require new types of leadership to create engaged, cross-functional teams that are armed with the right information and insights enabling them to make the appropriate impacts as part of their roles in their respective manufacturing enterprises.

Business innovation

It is essential for any business to innovate in order to survive. Innovation generally refers to renewing, changing or creating more effective processes, products or ways of doing things. There is a prevalence of available online tools and templates that can provide insight into how your business is operating and what can be done to improve operations. Throughout this kit there are several pointers to where these online tools can be found and ideas to help drive business innovation, identify new markets and create new business models.

Learn from your mistakes

You won’t get everything right first time. Innovation is all about trying new processes and not all of them will be prefect. It’s alright to make mistakes especially if you foster a culture where it is OK to fail as long as there is valuable information collected and learnt. Armed with this information you will be more likely to succeed the next time.

Internal knowledge sharing

Consider the collective wisdom and depth of knowledge about your business that your staff possesses. Make an effort to bring your employees together and openly discuss all facets of your operations. Encourage your staff to share their thoughts and knowledge in a supportive and rewarded environment. This might be a specific time where you congregate in a physical space or it might be an online discussion forum where people can add their contributions, ideas and comments when it suits them. Consider, too, that each and every staff member has a history and a world outside of their current role. Try investigating skills sets and bodies of knowledge which might exist outside of your core business – you might be surprised by new business opportunities which arise through collaborative internal discussion.

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