For decades now, manufacturing in Quebec and Ontario have been on a steady decline given increasing pressures to drive costs down to compete with foreign markets where labor costs are significantly cheaper.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) in Toronto has proactively started several initiatives and conferences to inform manufacturers of the tools and practices available to improve their performance and market differentiation. Within the TBM (Take Back Manufacturing) initiative, one of the SME conferences was around CIM (Computer Integrated Manufacturing) where several domain experts and vendors shared their insights on what can make a difference to Canadian manufacturing to help reenergize it.
Through a business partner, I was given the opportunity to join this conference and I do believe that this trend can be reversed. Manufacturers can be better educated on how to leverage innovative technology to remove waste, increase productivity and achieve greater responsiveness by adding fully computerized and integrated functionality into their future manufacturing business. With gas prices on the rise making importing goods more costly, now is a great time for manufacturers to take strides towards competing with offshored manufacturers through labor efficiencies, advanced planning and scheduling tools and other computerized technologies. My presentation aimed to inform the audience about what is Demand Planning & Forecasting and Production Scheduling while also highlighting the process, current methods, myths and typical benefits of adopting modern powerful computerized tools to support the decision making process.