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How Manufacturers Are Improving Cross-Functional Collaboration

The manufacturing industry is like an engine that runs on information. When information is easily accessible for everyone who needs it, the engine runs smoothly. But data silos, slow communication, and manual workflows cause that engine to sputter.

In this fast-paced, high-stakes landscape, manufacturers can’t afford any inefficiency. Cross functional teams (CFTs) keep manufacturers firing on all cylinders, unifying the efforts of production, customer service, marketing, and sales. But you need a strategy to keep CFTs in sync. Here’s how to keep the engine running smoothly.

Why Are Cross-Functional Teams so Important for Manufacturing?

Cross-functional teams are groups of employees who regularly collaborate across departments to achieve larger goals. CFTs are essential for:

One of the most common CFTs assembled by manufacturers combines sales and marketing to ensure promotions are attracting the right leads. CFTs consisting of research and development, production, and procurement employees can help manufacturers develop more innovative products, while avoiding complexities that could slow down production or increase costs.


Embrace the future with the Revalize Manufacturing 2023 Strategy Guide! Don’t miss out on the keys to success! Click now to transform challenges into triumphs.


Embrace the future with the Revalize Manufacturing 2023 Strategy Guide! Don’t miss out on the keys to success! Click now to transform challenges into triumphs.

What Keeps Cross-Functional Teams Functioning?

Cross-functional teams need more than regular meetings to stay in sync — they need to unify operations as much as possible, without disrupting the important work of their primary teams. Here are four ways to improve functionality:

1. Set CFT Goals

Collaboration is more than an ideal — it’s something that requires focus and dedication. Each department has goals they try to meet, but often, cross-functional teams lack clear structure and direction, especially when they’re formed reactively. Setting CFT goals ensures organizational alignment and maintains accountability. CFTs are positioned to effect change in their organizations. If they produce strong results, these changes will be positive and inspire greater collaboration. But if CFTs lack focus, they can dilute the efforts of everyone involved — and the success of the manufacturer.

2. Increase Transparency

The foundation to any successful collaboration is transparency — about bandwidth, workload, progress, and everything else that goes into a project. Every department involved in a CFT needs to provide visibility into their processes, so every member knows exactly when something is going to get done. Transparency provides another form of accountability for team members and increases trust, improving working relationships.

3. Streamline Communication

Cross-functional teams should meet regularly to share information and strategize, but issues are bound to crop up between meetings. CFTs need efficient ways to communicate with each other, such as chat platforms or workflow management software. Solutions should be integrated with the platforms or workflows of the larger organization as much as possible to maximize collaboration.

4. Centralize Databases

Companies that keep data, assets, and other important information all in one place have the most success when it comes to collaboration. After all, sharing information and coordinating effort is the reason why manufacturers form cross-functional teams. Invest in software that creates a single source of truth for the entire company, and you’ll have everything you need to set up your CFTs for success.

Revalize: Enabling Cross-Functionality Throughout the Entire Idea-to-Cash Journey

Forming a cross-functional team can be as simple as implementing the right technology solutions in your operations.

CPQ (configure, price, quote) software helps specialty manufacturers sell customizable products more efficiently, bringing all of the insight and knowledge of your engineers to the sales team so they can work more independently. A product lifecycle management (PLM) solution unifies all product data on a single platform, so researchers, quality assurance, marketing, productions, and sales all work together in the same database for ultra-efficient collaboration.

Revalize equips users with CPQ, PLM, and other capabilities, so manufacturers can run their entire enterprise from a single platform. Want to expand your collaboration?

Book a demo with one of our experts to see what Revalize can do for your company.

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