Manufacturing SMEs need a culture open to co-creation with customers

New research has suggested that manufacturing SMEs should promote a culture which supports “customer-centric manufacturing”.

The report, released by the University of Technology Sydney and supported by the department of industry, notes that small and medium businesses dominate Australia’s manufacturing industry. To remain a strong and relevant contributor to the Australian economy, they must continuously come up with new products, solutions and services to stay competitive.

This depends on the general education of the workforce and a culture able to drive innovation through things such as co-creation, “the best alternative available to these enterprises to survive in the market”.

“Ideally the culture is such that new ideas are supported and encouraged by an organisation’s upper management,” the report reads.

“In other words, the culture should encourage innovative activities across various layers of the organisation.”

The university’s Dr Megha Sachdeva said that “Trusting the judgment of employees helps create an atmosphere to promote and develop new ideas… Such a culture requires flexibility both by the SME owners and their employees.”

The industry are that SMEs find opportunities outside traditional markets, understand customer needs, understanding quality requirements, create a culture to develop new ideas, provide training expenditure and education, adapt continuously to external changes in technology, collaborate to exploit new markets and ideas, and explore different approaches to produce products.

To read the study, click here.