The future of manufacturing continues to go through rapid change. Fluctuating focus, increasing popularity of technology, and other trends are shifting the way many manufacturers conduct business.
Keeping current on common trends within the industry can help Chief Operating Officers build more insightful and inventive plans for the future of manufacturing. After all, if a technology or practice has gained footing with other manufacturers, it certainly is worth checking into for your own operations. It is particularly essential to note these trends as we deal with global uncertainty and changes across the board in the workforce.
Consider these trends when planning for your future
There are a few noteworthy trends manufacturing leaders should be aware of. Considering these trends when preparing for the future of your operations may help keep you on the cutting edge of your industry.
The rise of unified data
Utilization of operational data is not exactly new to the manufacturing industry, whereas the rapidly increasing investment into data and fully connected processes is worth a deep dive. The rapid growth of global spending on digital transformation and AI solutions is projected to continue as more businesses embrace the value of data.
Spending in the manufacturing industry seems to be concentrated on AI automation backed by data, in addition to solutions that provide business leaders with visibility into performance and operational status. If the technology can unlock advanced analytics, remove siloes and automate key processes, manufacturers are more likely to invest.
The renewed focus on experience
The customer in today’s market expects a great deal more from the companies they do business with than ever before. Most consumers insist on transparency, reduced cost, increased quality, and faster shipping. Operations must be faster and more efficient for manufacturers to meet these expectations. Communication with customers must become a major focus.
More often than not, manufacturers are deciding to invest in technology that supports streamlined operations, advanced production planning and more responsive and effective customer support. Manufacturers can set themselves apart from the competition based on customer experience.
We are in the center of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by intelligent automation and the IoT. Manufacturers are under significant pressure to implement intelligent solutions.
With the convergence of IT and operational technology (OT), and the increase in AI automation opportunities, the future of manufacturing will continue to undergo changes. Automated processes, integrated systems, enhanced maintenance capabilities, and streamlined overall operations will have manufacturers investing even more in intelligent manufacturing.
Increasing pressure from consumers, regulators, and shareholders have prompted many manufacturers to reassess their process of doing business. While prioritizing employee safety, product quality and customer satisfaction, many leaders have invested in innovative practices and intelligent solutions that are more sustainable and ethical. This trend will continue.
Advanced research and development
Emergent technology, such as cloud computing, robotics, and AI, has facilitated advanced research and development processes, including prototyping, testing, and digital twins. The capacity to virtually develop and test a product, then modify it to fit specific needs, makes it possible for manufacturers to improve their R&D efforts and expedite time-to-market.
In the near future, R&D technology investments will skyrocket as manufacturers embrace the benefits of advanced R&D.
Supply chain as a differentiator
Customer expectations for order fulfillment and shipping times have been reshaped due to corporate giants like Amazon. Supply chain management is no longer an afterthought – intelligent supply chains have become essential to meeting customer expectations and establishing a better reputation over the competition.
To remain competitive, manufacturers need technology to support their supply chain, including advanced AI, sensors, data analytics and blockchain, and will have to invest heavily.
How Microsoft Dynamics 365 can help
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