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3 Manufacturing Maturity Levels

September 9, 2015

In today’s world, customers are becoming increasingly demanding. They want customized products in smaller and smaller quantities, and they want to pay as little as possible. This puts an enormous amount of pressure on manufacturers to keep their customers happy.

The initial reaction of most businesses is to optimize as much as possible. They perform functions and tasks efficiently in an effort to reduce costs, and they do everything they can to do these things without harming the company as a whole. However, after years of economizing and optimizing, many businesses simply do not know where else they can improve, while customers continue to want more for less.

Here’s where Merkur can help. For more than 20 years, we’ve helped companies working in several different sectors (including machining, aerospace, furniture, textiles, and others) develop comprehensive strategies to optimize their operations. Our clients have risen in manufacturing maturity levels, making their manufacturing processes more efficient while ensuring the sustainability of their companies.

Read on to find out more about the three manufacturing maturity levels and how we help businesses rise up the ranks and become stronger.

Level 1—Production by department

At this first level, the production floor is probably inefficient due to the results of many small decisions. Production, therefore, is converted into departments, with some or all of the following taking place:

  • New processes are designed and integrated.
  • New equipment is purchased.
  • Product design is reviewed to minimize production constraints.
  • Production sequence is changed, as needed, to accommodate constraints of the production floor.


For production to be fully optimized, though, it requires the cooperation of the entire business, from sales to design to planning. Additionally, because of the different protocols followed by each department of the company, some difficulties may be encountered. Merkur, therefore, advises companies with the aim of implementing global optimization strategies and integrating various elements discussed during strategic planning

At this stage, we work with companies to create a short term, medium term, and long term game plan for company cohesiveness and continuity. Things taken into consideration include:

  • How the company is currently functioning.
  • Possible optimization strategies for operations.
  • Issues raised during strategic planning.
  • Forecasts for growth.
  • Quality of potential gains as compared to the time and costs necessary to achieve them.

 Niveau 2—Production par famille de pièces

At this intermediate level, more elements are added to the production floor to optimize costs, increase quality, and reduce transit time. To do this, the previously identified strategies need to be applied. As a result, production should have a clear order, with logical groupings of pieces and management of floor production broken up into units, called families of parts


As shown in the figure, there will always be a percentage of parts that will attract specific operating ranges and which may not be integrated into the family of parts. Typically, this only applies to 20-25% of parts, and they do not interfere with production as a whole.

To bring businesses to this second level of maturity, our advisors at Merkur ensure that strategies are adopted by turning them into concrete actions for the different parts of the company. Gains in quality, time, and cost become more noticeable and important..

At Level 2, some or all of the following will occur:

  • Reduced transit times thanks to better production cell management.
  • More precise techniques for the use of equipment.
  • Continuous improvement in each family of parts.
  • Increased capacity of each family.
  • Adoption of different approaches for supply, production, planning, and scheduling.
  • Automation of certain operations.
  • Better employee training for more specialized labor, methods, and workstations.
  • More stability and better quality control.
  • Accounting by family of parts.

Level 3— Automated Cells

At this highest level, production has evolved to automated cells. Although each family of parts may produce several different pieces, the methods and operating ranges are more similar, as design and production have established certain standards over time. Similarly, improvements made around parts families tend to decrease the need for the work-in-process between equipment..

This level of manufacturing maturity features automated input and output of machinery parts families. In addition, Merkur can help to automate whole entries and exits to the production cell.


What’s your business manufacturing maturity level?

Evolve from the first to the third level of manufacturing maturity may take several years, but the most important is to clearly identify the next steps that will make progress your organization by defining a short term, medium term and long term plan in compliance with your goals and objectives.

Not sure how to start? Call us now 1 877 571-0222!

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