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How to Overcome Scaling Challenges in Manufacturing: Gain Inspiration from Manufacturing Companies

Manufacturing companies are confronted with a multitude of challenges as they expand their operations. However, within these challenges lie significant opportunities for growth when approached strategically. By offering tailored solutions and expert guidance, manufacturers can manage their scaling initiatives effectively. 
Published 10-07-2024, last updated 10-07-2024 3 min read
How to Overcome Scaling Challenges in Manufacturing: Gain Inspiration from Manufacturing Companies

So, what are the typical challenges encountered by manufacturing companies, and how can they transform these challenges into opportunities for growth and improvement? 

Common Challenges in Scaling Manufacturing Operations  

Scaling up is a critical phase for innovative manufacturing companies. It involves expanding production capabilities, managing increased complexity, and integrating new technologies—all while maintaining or improving operational efficiency. Common challenges include: 

  • Integration Complexity: Scaling necessitates sophisticated integration across systems and processes. Managing the seamless incorporation of new technologies across expanding operations is critical. 

  • Information Flow: Ensuring accurate information flow across departments becomes more challenging as companies grow. Miscommunication can lead to inefficiencies and errors. 

  • Resource Management: Efficiently managing increased human and material resources without compromising productivity or quality is essential. This includes recruiting, training, and retaining a skilled workforce. 

  • Balancing Innovation with Operations: Striking a balance between driving innovation and maintaining stable, efficient operations is crucial for sustainable growth. 

By understanding common scaling challenges, manufacturing companies can develop strategic plans that prioritize optimization and digitization. Tailored solutions and expert guidance transform these hurdles into growth opportunities. At CLEVR, manufacturers are assisted in overcoming these hurdles through advanced Siemens and Mendix technology, focusing on optimizing and digitizing operations. But how does CLEVR help achieve this? 

How CLEVR Addresses Manufacturing Challenges 

As an end-to-end digital transformation partner, CLEVR leverages a blend of strategy, technology, and industry expertise to tackle growth challenges:

  • System Integration and Optimization: Leveraging leading technologies like Siemens and Mendix to streamline operations, ensuring seamless communication across systems.

  • Enhanced Data Management: Utilizing PLM systems to maintain accessible yet secure critical data, supporting informed decision-making.

  • Scalable Solutions: Designing solutions that grow with the business, embedding scalability into the technological foundation.

  • Training and Support: Providing comprehensive training and ongoing support to ensure teams effectively utilize implemented solutions. 

From Theory to Practice: Real-World Stories from Manufacturing Companies

From implementing Siemens Xcelerator solutions to leveraging Mendix low-code technology, let’s discover how leading manufacturing companies like Optime Subsea, Wheel.me, and tec4U have successfully navigated scaling challenges and driven transformative changes with CLEVR's expertise

1. Optime Subsea 

Operating in the specialized subsea oil and gas sector, Optime Subsea faced challenges managing intellectual property and data as they scaled. Initially reliant on basic tools like Excel and isolated CAD systems, they struggled to manage their expanding IP and ensure innovation reliability.  

CLEVR introduced them to Siemens Teamcenter, transforming their product lifecycle management, supply chain integration, and operations. CLEVR also trained Optime’s team to use Teamcenter innovatively, enhancing revision control and systematic design data management. 

This collaboration was transformative. Optime maintained a single source of truth for data, crucial for consistency and efficiency, and discovered new operational methods like digital twinning and service lifecycle management. This partnership showcases how expert guidance helps manufacturing companies thrive during scaling challenges in specialized industries.

2. Wheel.me

Wheel.me, a Norwegian robotics company known for its innovative autonomous systems, has experienced rapid growth, doubling its workforce to 80 employees across five locations, including Berlin, Detroit, Mexico, Oslo, and Fredrikstad. This expansion introduced challenges in version control, process management, and international coordination, especially with limited work hour overlaps with the U.S.

The introduction of Teamcenter and the unification of CAD systems under Siemens, guided by CLEVR, provided a robust digital backbone, streamlining operations, enhancing change management, and boosting productivity and quality. Previously reliant on Excel for BOM and a PDM system with minimal version control, Wheel.me struggled with inefficiencies, such as finding crucial CAD files.

Now, with Teamcenter as their PLM system and Rootstock for ERP, Wheel.me has improved change management, aligning engineering, sourcing, and production. They introduced strategic "friction" points to reduce errors and reworks, supporting their lean strategy. Development is divided into an early creative phase and a structured late phase to ensure scalability. 

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Wheel.me's structured workflow, where data flows from Teamcenter through release processes to purchasing and production, secures data integrity and enhances operational efficiency. Despite initial challenges in automating data flow, continuous feedback loops have maintained data accuracy.

Lessons from Wheel.me's journey highlight the importance of phased implementations, financial foresight, process simulation, and team involvement for successful digital transformation. 

3. tec4u  

tec4U, specializing in material compliance, developed the Data Cross Material Compliance application in close collaboration with CLEVR. Built using Mendix and recently updated to Mendix 10, this app is central to tec4U's business, serving over 200 manufacturing companies. 

CLEVR and tec4U worked together to architect and refine the app, ensuring it meets compliance needs and user expectations. Data Cross helps companies manage complex regulations like REACH and RoHS, safety data sheets, and calculate the carbon footprint of products. 

With the new EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) coming into effect in 2023, Data Cross has become even more crucial. It aids companies in meeting rigorous standards for sustainability reporting, part of the EU Green Deal aiming for climate neutrality by 2050. 

 “We had a demo with a new and bigger customer. After the demo, they were so enthusiastic about the software, that they directly wanted to start using it!“ tec4U 

 The app's user-friendly design handles over 1,400 user stories, facilitating detailed documentation and evaluation processes required by the CSRD, which demands over 1,000 data points. Automated data flows enhance efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and transparency in compliance. 

Continuous collaboration with CLEVR ensures ongoing refinement of Data Cross, keeping tec4U at the forefront of compliance management technology. 

The Role of a Trusted Partner in Digital Transformation 

For manufacturing managers, automation managers, IT managers, and operational leaders, CLEVR is more than just a technology service provider. CLEVR is a partner in digital transformation in the truest sense of the word, deeply integrating with your team to understand your business from the inside out. With decades of experience helping many companies navigate scaling challenges, CLEVR delivers out-of-the-box solutions that enhance capabilities to innovate and scale efficiently. CLEVR’s expertise in manufacturing optimization and digitization ensures that as your company grows, so do your operational efficiency and capacity for innovation. CLEVR becomes a part of your team, committed to advancing your goals with tailored strategies and continuous support. 

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