Business Optimization is more important than alignment in the new normal
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Why Alignment In Manufacturing Is Less Important Than You Thought

Section 1

Author: John McMahon

Read time: 7min


There has been a lot of speculation and much written in recent days about the “new normal.” How much is going to change? How much is going to stay the same? Who are going to be the winners and who are going to be the losers? There are many unanswered questions. One thing is certain, however these challenges are resolved will have long-lasting implications.

How will you lead the recovery of your manufacturing firm in 2020? The answer to that question will determine the health of your business in the coming months, and even in the coming years. Fortunately, leadership principles don’t change because the marketplace is thrown into upheaval. Business optimization is going to be your friend in the latter part of 2020 and beyond. As a leader, you want the best for your team. Balance the needs of your employees with investor expectations. What are your capabilities and cost of streamlining technology? It’s a tightrope to walk. There is good news. Others have paved the way. The technologies involved are dependable and effective.

Lisa Caldwell, in an April 14, 2020, Forbes article entitled “Now, Next, Beyond: The Three Phases Of Manufacturers’ COVID-19 Recovery,” addresses some of these concerts.


3 Main Conclusions & Action Steps:

Now – Address the Most Immediate Challenges – Employees, Customers, Liquidity

Next – Ensure Business Continuity and Enterprise Resilience

Beyond – Building Greater Agility and Resilience into the Organization’s Ecosystem


business recovery and optimization

What are the business realities of your manufacturing company?

The Alignment of People, Processes, & Resources

There has been so much said about alignment in business circles. The literature is full of “the alignment of people, processes, and resources.” So much so that the phrase itself has lost much of its meaning.


Because talk of “alignment” has become more of a marketing tagline. Instead of a business reality. The reality is that you will never find alignment perfection. The reason is obvious. Employees will come and go. Markets will fluctuate. Customer expectations will change. Suppliers can become dodgy. And technology is always evolving. The old axiom of “get everything set up so that it is perfect and all will be well” is gone forever.

Patrick Tickle of Planview wrote an article in 2016 boldly declaring, “Alignment Is Dead … or at Least It Should Be!” He was right. He said, “Everyone becomes so focused on aligning to the plan that they cannot easily take advantage of opportunities or pivot when they encounter challenges.”

The new mantra of manufacturing firms needs to be “agility.”

·         Agile Workforce

·         Agile Processes

·         Agile Technologies

It reminds me of the old cowboys trying to hit a target while riding on horseback. If you can make split-second decisions in real-time, continuously aligning people, processes, and resources, you’re an agile leader of a forward-leaning firm that just might make it in the information economy.


What's next for industrial manufacturing? Adopting disruptive digital "make and deliver" technologies.

Although Different,
Discrete & Process Manufacturing Have Similar Priorities

For the outsider looking in on the manufacturing industry, it seems like all manufacturing firms do the same thing…make stuff. But you know different, and so does the IronOrbit team. Each manufacturing firm falls into its own category. Each one is unique within that segment of manufacturing. No matter where your firm sits in that vast expanse of Manufacturing organizations, you have similar priorities to your competitors and colleagues.

  • Implement and Utilize ERP Successfully
  • Integrate Disparate Applications for Greater Efficiency
  • Keep Processes Dialed-in and Optimized
  • Manage Complexity
  • Attain Sustainable Market Leadership
  • Maintain Customer Satisfaction


One article isn’t going to solve each of the multi-layered challenges you face. Take a look at these objectives. Consider which ones you want to tackle first.

In part 2 of this blog (be on the lookout for our email invite) we will explore some ideas that can be helpful as you move forward.


In the meantime

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