Technology and the speed of innovation continue to push manufacturers to deliver products to market at an increasing pace. Explore the 7 emerging trends in manufacturing that are adding pressure to accelerate product introductions, to create more agile shop floors, and improve order fulfillment through connected operations.
Manufacturers who are able to respond to these trends will increase their speed of doing business and be able to deliver customer and product excellence every time.
7 technology trends impacting manufacturing today
1. Internet of things (IoT)
The IoT is delivering new visibility to manufacturers across their operations. With access to sensor data across manufacturing devices, cloud storage and the proliferation of wearables, more data is available than ever before. Manufacturers who use this data through smart sensors and real time data analytics can monitor and improve operations with predictive maintenance on machines, remote support for external systems and achieve new efficiencies across their operations.
2. B2B to B2BC
With online retailing now removing the need for stores to hold stock, customer demand has a much more immediate impact on manufacturers. By taking greater control over the value chain, from R&D to delivery, manufacturers who respond to end user’s feedback and demands for product quality, environmental sustainability and time to market will win the loyal customer.
3. Evolving value chain
Getting closer to the customer means manufacturers must work more closely to negotiate and collaborate with value chain partners. New technology such as smart machines and robotics have created new opportunities to personalize and respond to on-demand ordering from within the value chain. Manufacturers who are able to invest in smart machines and digitize their value chain will see the return on their investment.
4. Greater visibility – SMAC stack – social, mobile analytics, cloud
With better data collection and cloud enabled analytics platforms, manufacturers have greater visibility into their business and operations than ever before. The new breed of analytics tools (machine learning, predictive analytics, automation tools) are designed to make big data more accessible. Big data isn’t useful until it can provide insight. Used correctly these tools will help manufacturers with detection, classification, probability, and optimization while delivering higher efficiencies.
5. Emerging technology
Technology has always been the driver of innovation in manufacturing and today’s emerging technologies are no different. From 3D printing to autonomous devices to nanotechnology, these tools and techniques have changed the way things are made and produced. While this technology is all very new, the opportunity exists for manufacturers to create products from advanced materials and techniques that will reduce waste, improve quality and deliver better products in a faster and more cost effective way.
6. Agile manufacturing
In order to stay responsive to evolving customer demands and to meet the need for greater product customizations, many manufacturers are moving towards an agile manufacturing approach. Accelerated product release cycles have pushed many manufacturers to become more nimble and compress product cycles. When pairing agile processes with technology, manufacturers will be able to meet new demands and keep pace with today’s accelerated speed of doing business.
7. Small is the new big
Advancements in manufacturing technology, lower cost of entry, a need for speed, and the demand for more customized products is leading to a growth in smaller, more localized manufacturing. Improvements in technology and speed to market are making smaller manufacturing facilities more efficient in handling on-demand orders and are increasingly more viable. Local manufacturers offering on-demand production will also find that local, risk adverse customers will prefer an on-shoring model.
These 7 emerging trends have delivered new business models that all require modern, enterprise software to deliver consistently on brand, sales and service promises from fulfillment through manufacturing and supply chain operations. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s business solution for enterprises that enables businesses to transform by enabling them to redesign their business processes faster so they can innovate and get value quicker to stay ahead of the competition.