Posted: 23 Mar. 2023 4 min. read

Optimize operating models with smart manufacturing

Smart factory applications and the future of factories

Smart manufacturing enabled through ‘above site’ operating models

Often, organizations looking to move from traditional manufacturing to a smart manufacturing approach are overwhelmed with expensive and inelegant technology options. This can be a high hurdle to getting a smart manufacturing strategy off the ground and implemented. One way to start the journey, without attempting to re-create the wheel, is to focus first on the supporting operating model. When looking at a multisite factory footprint, there is an opportunity to begin the process with an intelligent operating model design combined with smart, pointed technology solutions.

One organization recently began its transformation by taking common processes spread over multiple sites and consolidating the supporting teams while enabling them to access multiple technologies, developing a longer-term strategy for technology harmonization as part of the manufacturing roadmap. Material management across prioritized sites was first centralized into a central team, providing visibility, transparency, and insight into material and financial flows to senior leadership. Next, through moderate technology adjustments, they addressed repair functions predictively versus during reactive downtime. This is just one example of many.

When prioritizing smart manufacturing solutions, we have found an alternate approach has been to unleash a virtuous cycle that enables greater “above site” centralization (when it makes sense to do so) while optimizing plant personnel capabilities, allowing for greater impact from both smart manufacturing and operating model transformation.

What is The Smart Factory @ Wichita?

The Smart Factory @ Wichita is more than 60,000 square feet of advanced manufacturing technology you can touch using technology and capabilities to transform the way you do business today. Through custom simulations of smart factory applications, you can test, explore, and learn from the latest innovations in manufacturing.

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The future of the factory

Eighty percent of US manufacturers surveyed last year believe that smart factories will transform the way products are made and become the main driver of competition by 2025. Yet only 5% reported full conversion of at least one factory to “smart” status. What that means is that 95% of surveyed manufacturers have not unleashed the power of connecting their factory floor to their enterprise resource planning systems and aligned their organizations to utilize a real-time data strategy that optimizes their operations. 

With a smart factory, manufacturers can self-optimize performance across a broader network; self-adapt to and learn from new conditions in real or near real time; and autonomously run entire production processes. 

Accelerate to a smarter operating model

Smart manufacturing transformation coupled with an optimized operating model that streamlines repetitive, transactional, and business-as-usual processes and tasks enables a true “single source” of truth for the enterprise—delivering speed, quality, and efficiency.


Stephen Laaper
Deloitte Consulting LLP

Joseph Montrosse
Managing Director
Deloitte Consulting LLP




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