The manufacturing sector has always been quick to adapt to change. New technologies and tech trends are proving that once again, as we immerse more fully in Industry 4.0,manufacturers face unique new challenges. As a sector, those manufacturing brands that are more quickly integrating these new tech developments into their business management structure are benefitting from:
- Improved operations
- Cost savings
- Quicker production
- More control over ongoing expenses
- Improved customer support
If you want to ensure that your manufacturing firm is not falling behind the competition, then here are the key areas to be aware of.
The Internet of Things is empowering those manufacturing firms that are adopting it wholesale. From more informed strategic decision-making to smoother workflow and real-time data gathering, the IoT may not have had widespread consumer impact, but the manufacturing sector is benefiting. It is expected that the industry will invest an estimated $267 billion in the IoT by just 2020. Interconnectivity is the next big transformative technology for manufacturers.
From B2C to B2B2C
Manufacturers that have traditionally relied on their B2B model are gradually transitioning to a business-to-business-to-consumer format. Being able to sell directly to the consumer offers many advantages, and e-commerce has been disruptive for the B2C form of business. By opting to go for the B2B2C model, manufacturers can:
- Improve profit margins
- Reach the marketplace faster
- Take control of their brand image
- Control their prices
- Gather consumer data
Manufacturers that are not focusing on e-commerce and more direct sales are set to watch their growth falter. However, the transition can be time-consuming and will need financial outlay in order to make the shift.
One of the issues that have been hindering growth in the manufacturing industry is the reliance on outdated business models from suppliers. Software and design products have become increasingly subscription-based, meaning that manufacturers not only have to make consistent payments, but they are also restricted with their supply chain integration. That’s why the growth of firms like Altium and their CircuitStudio PCB products has been so rapid. By taking advantage of perpetual licensing, companies are able to take greater ownership of their output and improve workflow in both the design process and the finished product.
With faster and cheaper production, it’s no surprise that manufacturers are embracing 3D printing on a grand scale. Even those that are adopting 3D printers solely for the creation of prototype models, the cost-saving benefits of this exciting new tech are not beingunderestimated. One of the biggest advantages of 3D printing is that it allows businesses to produce purchased items on demand. This can mean huge savings in both production and warehousing costs. Even tooling is being improved and fast-tracked, with both the aerospace and automotive industries being widespread adopters.
Manufacturers that are still relying on traditional production and business management processes are hindering their potential. Make sure that your business is not just aware of the most important tech trends in your sector, but that you are taking positive steps towards their adoption and integration. The more that you make use of these technologies, the faster you will reap the financial and brand rewards.