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Facility Tour

Managers have recognized how manufacturing capabilities contribute to a company's overall strategic strength. The ability to respond quickly to customers' orders, to customize products to match customers' exact requirements, or to ramp up production rapidly can be a powerful and difficult-to-imitate competitive weapon. But many corporate managers identify their plants' capabilities only by accident—as a result of chance conversations with plant managers or operations specialists. Consequently, many managers do not have the information necessary to cultivate, shape, and exploit their company's manufacturing capabilities. As plants develop, however, they need guidance to build capabilities that meet current and future needs. Plant tours can be a powerful way of providing factories with that kind of direction.

Plant visits allow managers to review a supplier's qualifications, to share best practices with a partner, or to benchmark performance and practices. Shop-floor operators can assess another plant's operations and apply what they've learned to their own factories. Consultants can benefit a great deal from tours, even of plants that are not part of their current assignment. Such tours allow them to amass knowledge about their clients quickly and to build a store of experience that will be useful on future assignments.






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