Sustainable growth is the order of the day for today’s manufacturer as the economy exits a long period of economic decline. Manufacturers are having to increasingly review their financial management processes – particularly focusing on risk management and the financial exposure during crisis situations. Sensible business practice.
Here are 10 Key MEGATRENDS that are seen as important in today’s manufacturing world.
1) FACTORY OF THE FUTURE
- Automation may be even more cost effective than outsourcing manufacturing to developing economies.
- Within an interconnected manufacturing value chain, companies will face increasing industrial IT security risks.
- Increase in legal provisions, regulations and industry standards
- Manufacturing companies look to outsource back office services to focus on core operations.
- Wages in offshore locations are increasing.
- Eastern Europe is expected to witness significant manufacturing inward investment in the near future.
3) DEMAND SHIFT TO THE EAST
- Asia’s economic influence on the global landscape is growing
- Increasing importance for local R&D, production and assembling facilities, regional supply chains and adapting products to meet the needs of local markets.
4) CLUSTER MANUFACTURING
- Clusters will become a key pillar for strengthening the manufacturing industry in terms of innovation and efficiency.
- It will be important to remain in close physical proximity to the engineering centres of major customers, as well as to scientific research institutes in Europe.
5) ENERGY / RESOURCE EFFICIENCY
- Commodity prices, energy usage and logistics management will become more crucial to maintain competitiveness.
- Automated manufacturing and new production technologies (e.g. additive manufacturing) are expected to play a key role in reducing materials and energy usage, and reducing waste.
6) TALENT CHALLENGE
- Demand for MINT (mathematics, informatics, natural sciences and engineering) talents (machinists, tool makers and machine programmers) is on the rise.
- Adding to the economic pressures will be a steady increase in wages for “rare” specialists.
7) NANOTECHNOLOGY / NANOMANUFACTURING
- Nanotechnology is expected to have a big impact on sustainability in the near future.
- Unknown environmental, health and safety (EHS) implications arising from nanoparticles during their lifecycle present research-based industries with significant challenges and opportunities in risk management.
8) ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING / 3D PRINTING
- Additive manufacturing or 3D printing will set up new business models with effects on industries, companies and society.
- Increasing importance of a company’s value-chain structure to be successful in a “disrupted environment.”
9) SERVICE DRIVEN BUSINESS MODELS
- Manufacturers should find ways to sell ongoing services to their customers by taking a holistic view of customers’ needs.
- The challenge for manufacturers is to commercialise scientific and technological innovation into a marketable product and service combination.
10) SOURCING GOVERNANCE
- Companies need a highly skilled procurement organisation engaged at appropriate levels of the value chain employing disciplined, rigorous world-class processes.
- The sourcing governance approach focuses on the complete external supply chain of the company – suppliers and pre-suppliers are therefore a part of corporate responsibility.