Five Trends Reshaping Global Manufacturing

By Kellie Auman Posted on 7/12/19 9:05 AM

The manufacturing sector may be slower to change than many other global industries, but there is very little doubt that AI, automation, the Internet of Things, and Industry 4.0 practices are all having an impact. Global manufacturing is changing, and that change is starting to pick up steam.

We recently came across a fascinating report from the International Data Corporation (IDC), specifically looking at modern trends in global manufacturing – and how they’re being reshaped by modern technology. They are looking at the factors which will be making big impacts in 2020 and onwards, and we couldn’t help but take note of some of the most important shifts.

Automated production line in modern factory

1. A growing reliance on digital experience management platforms

By next year, it’s expected that at least 60% of top manufacturers will be embracing management platforms, such as CRM and PRM, to improve collaboration and coordination, along with centralizing many aspects of data management and training. Open access is the key here, with these platforms being made available to most or all entities who have dealings with the manufacturer.

2. Industry clouds are growing rapidly in popularity

IDC sees up to 75% of manufacturers as participating in industry clouds by 2020, for sharing and analyzing information. The intelligence benefits of these clouds are simply too great to ignore, even for manufacturers who generally eschew collaboration. However, relatively few – only about 1/3 – will successfully find ways to monetize that participation.

This seems like a situation ripe for innovative solutions to enable monetization of these platforms.

3. Operational Technology and Informational Technology are beginning to merge

Previously, there has been relatively little overlap between Operational Technology – tech in the field – and the more Information Technology which provides backbone support. Now, the lines between OT and IT are becoming blurry, with software crossing over between disciplines. For example, data generated through automation of work is finding increased business use as well. The expectation is that at least 30% of tech hires will have experience in both OT and IT, and there will be a substantial need for cross-training to come.

4. Customers are becoming part of the development process

This is already standard in consumer-driven fields, but now more manufacturers are beginning to invite collaboration and participation from their own customers. Cloud-based product development systems and even VR are being used to seek feedback from end users, helping to ensure the products created are the right match for their needs. This could be a major factor in reducing the number of failed products coming out of the manufacturing sector – with the right technology powering the collaboration.

5. The “gig economy” is coming to Industry 4.0

Why maintain expensive dedicated support staff, when software-based collaboration and e-learning systems can allow freelancers to fulfill the same role? IDC estimates that by next year, at least 20% of dedicated CSRs and even field workers will be replaced with “experts for hire.” This can bring substantial savings on payroll in general, as well as potentially making dedicated specialists available when needed without the enormous costs of keeping them under contract.

These freelancers will likely even work with multiple companies simultaneously, leveraging their expertise to receive more jobs, while allowing all involved to enjoy the benefits of a distributed workforce.

Change Is Rapid And Constant – LogicBay Helps Your Ecosystem Keep Up

With a single unified software solution handling data acquisition, analytics, communications, e-learning, and more, your industry ecosystem becomes smarter, more streamlined, and better able to pivot in response to industry shifts. Contact LogicBay today to schedule a demonstration!

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