The manufacturing industry in the US lost 740,000 jobs during the COVID pandemic. Similar problems faced manufacturers all over the world. The virus also disrupted supply chains in many countries, and 2020 overall was not the perfect year for the industry. However, industry experts stay positive and seek opportunities within the realm of manufacturing software development. The emerging technology is expected to enhance current operations in all aspects of the industry hence providing a wide range of investment opportunities for businesses of all sizes. Now, let’s explore some of the top growth opportunities for manufacturing in 2020-2021.
Top growth opportunities for manufacturing in 2020-2021
1. Green initiatives through manufacturing technology
The speed of manufacturing industry development has already been named the 4th industrial revolution. Such rapid development heavily impacts the planet; this is why more and more companies turn into Social Supers who truly believe in the possibility of staying profitable while also improving the world around them. Companies are willing and ready to update their existing processes for the greater good of the whole planet, and the fact that no earning gets lost in the process only urges most businesses to join the caste.
Most often, the update of the existing practices through manufacturing production software is what turns the harmful impact into a profitable and positive process. 64% of manufacturers in the US are willing to turn to renewable energy in the upcoming five years, and more than a third of the market believes that the use of special manufacturing software in Australia can easily diversify their dependency on traditional energy sources and also reduce costs. Considering that consumers all over the world prefer sustainable brands, manufacturers who turn to green initiatives can earn a great profit by showcasing their green processes to the world and making a point about this.
The risks: The main risk comes from the need for process change and the costs involved. A manufacturing company needs to always carefully weigh the benefits and calculate the cost of such a transition. Modern manufacturing technology can help with a smoother change, so instead of diving into sustainability right away, it is worth considering the help from a manufacturing software development team first.
2. Supply chain digitalization
44% of manufacturers report that their current supply chain is too complex and inefficient. Here are its most common growth barriers:
- High transportation costs of assets
- Underused assets
- High rework costs
- Low risks reaction
- Unexpected issues with vendors
These and many other problems cast a shadow on all manufacturing processes and so customer service. As a result, in the era of global digitalization, many companies within the manufacturing industry turn to the manufacturing software development teams for help. Among the top software, orders are AI-based initiatives, robotics, deep data analysis, and, of course, 3D printing solutions. The latest example can help with adaptation to the rapid and urgent market demands; automotive manufacturing company software can set up autonomous forklifts and warehouse machinery for faster operations; robots have long been working besides humans on production lines for the enhanced production process.
The top priority in terms of digitalization for supply chains is, undoubtedly, the kind of automotive manufacturing companies software used for data collection and analysis. Data that comes from sensors, timing of deliveries, shifts efficiency, and many other indices gets collected by the software, then is analyzed with advanced AI. As a result, the manufacturing business receives a valuable analysis of the real-time data that allows managers and operators to optimize the processes even better. Such information also helps with forecasting and risk management as well as inventory management also performed by manufacturing technology solutions.
The risks: Poor timing for supply chain digitalization is what causes the greatest problems for companies. Make sure to carefully think of the low season for your business to gradually begin implementing such a massive change. Otherwise, the shock from all the data, new processes, and high-tech solutions might literally paralyze the company.
3. Customer needs anticipation
Investment in customer satisfaction and overall relationship with the end-users of a manufacturing product is a priority for 62% of manufacturers. Since personalized experience and customized offers are among the top concerns for end customers, the ability to predict what the market would be like instantly becomes the main goal for any manufacturing business.
Let’s take the automotive industry as an example here. Since cities get overcrowded today, many global capitals restrict their city centers to residents only and minimize the options of public parking. In this respect, manufacturers invent smaller and smaller cars that could satisfy the basic need for transportation while also posing no problems for their users in big cities and complying with the environmental restrictions around the world. These are automotive manufacturing companies whose software is based on AI and big data analysis that win the race here. Only companies that predict the new environmental restrictions or country policies can win the market and prepare for their demand ahead of time.
The risks: It is simple here – a prediction that fails to happen. The anticipation of the market change is essential, 74% of manufacturing businesses agree with the statement. However, it is also crucial to understand that if you invest in some manufacturing software development and this software appears to be of no use, your business can lose a lot of money even before releasing the product. That is why forecasting of future trends is important, yet it has to go together with the risk management initiatives.
4. Adoption of transparency
Since public opinion shapes the reality of modern manufacturing, companies need to be particularly careful about their inside processes, resources, and usage of assets. The easiest way to be in the positive spotlight is to uncover all the processes to the consumers willingly. For example, Patagonia allows its customers to check the company’s carbon footprint. It knows such a problem exists but by showing all the data, it demonstrates the business’s work in progress and earns the hearts of the publicity. Failure to disclose such information in the modern world can turn into a disaster, as happened with Apple six years ago.
The trick here is that technologies can help in this aspect of manufacturing as well. For example, manufacturing software from Singapore based on the blockchain can help a business ensure that no transaction and action within the company is left out. By showing the trace for each and every action in the chain, a company can prove its sustainability and build transparency within the brand, keeping the customers included and aware of their deals.
The risk: Do not disclose more than needed. A manufacturer needs to state where the assets and resources come from and how they are involved in the process, but the publication of every single step on the way from the seed to a cupboard might not be the best initiative. Remember that the more information is shared, the more problems one can find in it.
Conclusion: manufacturing driven by consumers
The rapid change in manufacturing is obvious and unavoidable. Universal implementation of manufacturing production software or AI has turned from a benefit to a necessity. Competition gains strength, consumers become more hard-to-please, and the technology evolves into new shapes on a daily basis. Rethinking of the existing values and routine operations for manufacturing businesses is a vital step to survive sudden changes.
Growth Opportunities in the industry of 2020 are enormous: from the well-known yet still essential digitalization through manufacturing technology to becoming sustainable at every step of the way. The smart and forward-thinking manufacturing companies are already seeking assistance from AI and robotics to turn around and understand the customers’ needs. So if you are not planning to trail behind the competition, gear up with technology and step into the future of manufacturing today.