Australian Manufacturing

Australia’s manufacturing sector is poised to explode with growth in coming years. 

11 March 2021 saw the announcement of a new $30 million fund from the federal Government, to help Australia’s manufacturers to turn their ideas into world-beating realities that create more local jobs.

“Making science and technology work for industry is one of the central pillars of our Government’s $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy and this fund is just one of the ways we’re delivering on that,” Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said.

The fund will be managed and administered by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) and will support projects within the Government’s six National Manufacturing Priorities of Medical Products, Food and Beverage, Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing, Recycling and Clean Energy, Defence, and Space.

When the game changed

Australian manufacturing had been dying a slow death as offshore competitors gained market share through lower prices and agile operations, affecting every industry at every level.

However the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic changed everything.  Local manufacturers, assemblers and distributors faced delays almost twice as long as in 2019.  Everyone experienced shortages in thousands of ways, as extended supply chains slowed down, or stopped supplying.  When factories throughout the world went into lockdown, and critical logistical networks stalled, the ripple effect became tidal.  Add in the trade repercussions from recent international politics, and the ripple became a monsoon.

As online shopping escalated and imported product shortages increased, Australians turned to local suppliers.  Local manufacturers struggled to scale up operations to meet the increase in demand. It has been a wake-up call for our manufacturers, who realise they must strengthen their supply chains by looking to source or produce their own product components in Australia.

The growth and strengthening of Australia’s manufacturing sector is dependent on this happening and this Government initiative is timely.

Practical steps for Australian Manufacturers’ success

Many Australian businesses had never experienced the extraordinary challenges that come with uncertainty of supply and demand, until the pandemic hit.  Terms like “pivoting” and “agility” became part of the daily vernacular in businesses everywhere as everyone scrambled to figure out what needed to be done to survive, let alone thrive.

The pandemic environment has proven that there is a high level of public appreciation for the Australian manufacturing industry and that manufacturers need to invest in continuous improvement to adapt and grow to meet demand.

The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) has issued a report  Ten-ways to succeed in Australian manufacturing which lists practical steps to ensure manufacturers become more advanced, resilient, competitive, and globally impactful.

Two of the ten steps outlined in the report are things that we help our manufacturing clients with:

Plan change

  • 2% of businesses do not have a strategic plan, while 42% do not monitor KPIs
  • AMGC found business owners and operators worked ‘in’ rather than ‘on’ the business
  • Manufacturers are encouraged to make time to plan, seek advice and engage with industry or governmental support agencies to unlock potential

Adopt technology

  • Far from being a ‘job-killer’, technology is an enabler and equaliser, it can lead to productivity, quality and upskilling opportunities
  • Australian manufacturers lag other industries in adopting advanced technologies
  • Some manufacturers are ‘put-off’ by a lack of understanding or misconceptions about the cost of investment, these businesses should seek expert advice

How MYOB Advanced provides the foundation for manufacturing success

The MYOB Advanced ERP Manufacturing Solution is the ideal technology to help Australian manufacturers unlock potential and gear up for growth.

It has been specifically designed to track all that is critical to efficient manufacturing management, in one fully integrated suite of modules.

Being able to streamline the business processes, access real time data across the entire organisation and keep everyone informed of their KPIs, makes an enormous difference to profitability, competitiveness and scalability.

Some of the key features which Australian manufacturers are finding exceptionally helpful include these abilities:

  • Connect materials, work instructions and overhead costs to an operation to accommodate time-phased release of materials.
  • Calculate costs at average, standard and actual cost. Add tooling costs and overhead costs, both fixed and variable.
  • Employ multiple scheduling options including both forward and backward manufacturing scheduling methods.
  • View all supply and demand. Create production and purchase orders directly from the planning screen.
  • Use full multi-level planning to ensure that all requirements are recognised and satisfied for smooth production operations.
  • Prepare estimates for existing or custom items. Create a simple, quick summary estimate or a detailed estimate using a bill of material structure.
  • Provide visibility and control to teams in the office, the factory and the field to facilitate monitoring and decision making.

In summary, Australian manufacturers now have arguably the best opportunity ever in our history to stage a successful “comeback” and reduce our reliance on cheap imported goods, fix broken links in supply chains, and to give Australians what they want – to buy Australian made products.

One of the key components to doing it efficiently and being competitive is to use the right technology – like MYOB Advanced.  Manufacturers who are still using spreadsheets and software which is inflexible, disparate, or unreliable will probably fail.  No-one wants that to happen.

Contact our Exobiz team to request a free assessment of your current systems and advice on what may need to change to facilitate your growth.   

About Steve Aish

I love being part of change and seeing that the work we do helping our clients to improve workflows and achieve growth. I also love the ever-evolving tech industry and being part of developing tech that continuously improves.

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