It is not easy to expand your thinking, open yourself up to new ideas, and think creatively while completely focused on day-to-day execution. Yet it will be the most important ingredient to success in the next several years. There are so many challenges and obstacles to overcome (geopolitics, lack of talent, subpar processes, lack of funding, meager technology, non-achievable regulations and more) that using advanced technologies and innovating your way to success will become the only viable option to ensure you can serve your key customers reliably.

Additionally, even though cost savings of 1-3% can equal large dollars, these will not cut it when input prices have been going up by 5%, 10%, 20% and ever higher, and price increases aren’t keeping up. Several clients have seen margins decline due to this equation and are jumping on this situation. Customers and consumers are not accepting the same price increases they accepted initially, and so manufacturers are getting squeezed. The use of advanced technologies (robotics, automation, digital twins, AI) will be required to keep up with key customers’ demand, to reduce costs, and to bridge the skills gap.

Freeing your thinking is vital to innovating your way to success.

Ideas for Freeing the Mind

So how do you free your mind to innovate? You might be able to go to your backyard and watch the dog, go to a restaurant and enjoy time away, or take a hike, but there are also times it makes sense to get away from home to clear the mind. Since I had to go to San Diego to speak with a group of CPA partners about challenges, opportunities and the path forward in manufacturing and supply chain, I had the chance to look out the window and work on the patio (thanks to a complimentary upgrade). See included photo. I also went to the pool restaurant to enjoy guacamole. And, I had the opportunity to catch up with a friend while in town which got me thinking about new topics and ideas. Stay tuned as I’ll be rolling these out. Freeing the mind can help to expand your thinking and stimulate creative juices.

Expanding Your Thinking

Once your mind is freed up, it is far easier to focus on innovating and trialing new technologies. AI and ChatGPT will transform the way we do business over time. Digital twins are revolutionizing our ability to simulate real world situations. Robotics are changing the manufacturing floor. Are you trying new technologies like these out? Additionally, are you reading about new topics? Deliberating putting yourself in new situations? Asking questions? Expanding your thinking will be critical to innovation. Learn more about innovating for success in our recent article in Adhesives & Sealants Industry.

Please contact us with stories, issues, and opportunities on what you’re doing to succeed and how these issues will impact your business. And please keep us in the loop of your situation and how we can help your organization get in a position to thrive for years to come. Learn more about these topics in our blog and download your complimentary copy of our recently released special report: The Road Ahead: Business, Supply Chain & The World Order.