Manufacturing is one of the largest, most important industries in the world. As a result, the competition is immense, and developments happen at a fast pace. It’s essential to recognize what the significant trends on the horizon might be, and how you can use them to your business’ advantage to stay ahead and resilient.
Here are four trends to watch in industrial manufacturing for 2020:
Research shows that a single hour of downtime can cause hundreds to thousands in revenue losses in the manufacturing environment. By using technology software, data, AI, and predictive analytics, IBM says tech can decrease unplanned outages by 15%.
Predictive analytics help companies better understand how their machines work and why they fail, which allows you to prevent those failures altogether. This type of technology will help to prevent unexpected equipment breakdown and help manufacturers to save time, resources, and money. Going forward: predictive technology is not just a nice to have, but a must-have for manufacturing environments.
This year has seen muted job growth in the manufacturing sector, adding an average of 6,000 jobs per month to date in 2019, compared with an average of 22,000 jobs per month in 2018, as reported by Deloitte in the 2020 Manufacturing Industry Outlook. Even with the slowdown in the creation of new jobs, manufacturers are still having difficulty filling critical positions and are looking at opportunities to improve their existing workforce or train new hires that may have less experience.
Dorinda Byers, a SME Consultant, has found that a focus on soft skills is on the rise with companies. ”There has been a pivot as soft skills are now being seen as essential skills.” Byers continues, “Companies are offering DISC (a behavior assessment tool), Five Behaviors of Cohesive Team training, Leadership Challenge, and communication effectiveness programs to support the achievement of business objectives such as transitioning to lean manufacturing or reducing turnover.” She believes these skills are also providing a foundation for new and next-generation leaders to adapt to and leverage the many advances in technology within manufacturing.
Technology has allowed for a much more collaborative relationship between companies and customers. In 2020, the industry will need to be able to leverage the vast quantities of data received from customers to create even more value for their business.
Many customers will expect to be intimately involved in the manufacturing process and to have even more customization options. In order to offer product customization, the manufacturer must be able to gather data and work in partnership with their customers.
Technology now provides manufacturers the ability to improve performance in the areas of responsiveness and agility. Decreasing the time it takes to process and respond to a client’s order or react to a machine issue to reduce downtime is becoming increasingly crucial to the average manufacturing outfit.
The more technologies like AI, machine learning, machine service connection and advanced analytics become commonplace in manufacturing, the more opportunities there are to predict things like demand and instantly make changes to match that demand.
We believe at The UP! App, that 2020 will be the year technology gains critical mass. This is clear as we take a look at the state of manufacturing technology across the nation and trends for 2020 that all in some way link back to digital tech. Technology is an ever-evolving field, constantly integrating improvements and innovations to create exciting new opportunities for today’s manufacturers to reimagine their operations and grow their business.