Manufacturing Technology Revolution
Revolution is prevalent across the manufacturing lines. Manufacturers are looking for ways to explore new technologies, reinvent manufacturing strategy, enhance troubleshooting and bring manufacturing closer to the consumer and levy the power of intelligent tools. Ultimately, streamlining operations and cutting costs. However, manufacturers must also look beyond systems and software and uncover how better processes and strategies can enhance operation through these additional trends.
1. Manufacturers Looks to Reduce the Skills Gap, a Consistent Issue When Talking Trends in American Manufacturing
The skills gap is a huge concern for manufacturers. The incorrect perceptions of manufacturing as a dirty, labor-intensive and outdated career are ending. More than 3 million manufacturing jobs will be available over the next 10 years, and right now, only one-third of those positions are expected to be filled. Manufacturers should implement career training programs, showcase new, clean and technologically advanced facilities and offer incentives for high school and college students to pursue careers in the manufacturing space.
2. Intelligent Networks
Many manufacturing supply chains will evolve into intelligent networks with real-time track-and-trace, legacy systems integration and greater delivery accuracy with quality metrics than more ever before. Applying analytics, BI, quality management and track-and-trace applications to supply chain problems are together creating knowledge sharing networks. Moving forward, manufacturers will begin to integrate legacy on-premise third-party, and new cloud-based applications into a single unified platform that integrates with suppliers and enables greater speed and scale.
3. Manufacturers Will Create More Leadership Roles
Low-tech and limited career path positions do not satisfy millennials. Today’s modern generations want to use new technologies to highlight their skills and teach others about how new processes can benefit an organization and humanity. In other words, the new generation wants to take a more proactive role in company leadership, even if it is not as a member of the C-Suite. Therefore, manufacturers will work to increase the number of leadership roles available within an organization throughout 2019, and more companies will implement mentorship programs, giving new, upcoming employees an opportunity to learn from upper-level managers and executives within the C-Suite.
4. The Dominance of E-Commerce Continues
Any conversation about trends in American manufacturing would be incomplete without touching on the growing importance and impact of e-commerce. E-commerce is among the top trends in American manufacturing influencing manufacturing and retailers. Experts predict Amazon will be included in all retailers’ e-commerce business plans moving forward, whether those plans include selling products through the Amazon marketplace or identifying ways to compete with Amazon’s business model. Similarly, consumers will begin looking for other ways beyond basic browsers to make purchases, including mobile phones, or voice-shopping thru a personal home assistant like Amazon’s Echo or Google Assistant, meaning a significant number of manufacturers, distributors, and retailers will be forced to begin reinventing omni-channel order fulfillment strategies.
5. IT and OT Technical Staff Will Begin to Cross Roles
Information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) professionals have traditionally been considered different departments. However, the convergence of systems, processes and devices within manufacturing will require IT and OT technical staff to merge. IT staff will begin training on OT systems and vice versa.
6. Redefining Manufacturing Technologies
Manufacturers continue operating with the same basic set of technologies, including systems to manage order fulfillment, inbound and outbound logistics, and transactions from several shopping channels. As the number of consumers seeking omnichannel shopping experience, using apps, browsers, brick-and-mortar stores, farmers markets and other venues increases, manufacturers will need to expand existing technologies to keep up with consumer demand. In addition, technologies will need to integrate to take advantage of the Industrial Internet of Things, otherwise known as Industry 4.0. While the role of automated technologies will also be part of these trends in American manufacturing, considerations in automated manufacturing technology includes hundreds, if not thousands of smaller factors.
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