As anyone who has worked in the manufacturing field for the past two decades will surely agree, the industry never stays the same for long. New procedures, technologies and practices are being introduced on almost a daily basis, which makes the industry among the most interesting and challenging. While the changes force companies to adapt their operating processes, the ones that embrace them can work faster and more efficiently, which helps them remain competitive and profitable.
Changes in Manufacturing in the Past 10-15 Years
How has manufacturing changed in the past several years? Here are a few examples:
Perhaps the most impactful change has been the transition to automation. While automation has been around since the mid-twentieth century, it has gained momentum over the past decade or so, fueled by the widespread implementation of robotics. While there were initial concerns about automation eliminating the need for human labor, the opposite has been true in many work environments.
It takes highly skilled, well-trained workers to oversee the operation of robotics, for instance. In fact, automation has increased the average worker output value in many manufacturing-related industries.
Most of us are familiar with the concept of outsourcing where work that was once performed in-house is shipped to third-party entities (often located overseas) who can perform the task at a lower cost. A recent trend in manufacturing has been the move to insourcing, where work that was once outsourced is brought back to the home company — or at least closer to home on American soil.
Insourcing is occurring at an increasing rate due to issues such as inferior or inconsistent quality, shipping delays and communication challenges.
Using Digitization to Leverage Data and Analytics
Digital technologies are helping manufacturers take advantage of big data analytics to bundle and sell a variety of services to their customers. For example, manufacturers of machinery can offer conditioning-based maintenance that includes real-time monitoring of the equipment. In addition to bringing in additional revenues, this also helps to foster a stronger long-term relationship that can increase customer retention.
Using Technology to Drive Marketing
While the manufacturing industry has always been a trailblazer regarding the use of technology to spark innovation, reduce production costs and increase efficiency, the same cannot be said about using technology to drive marketing and sales. However, manufacturers are now discovering the power of technologies such as the internet and social media to bolster their marketing efforts.
A function that was once outsourced to third-party advertising agencies or PR firms is now being handled in-house in many cases.
MANTEC Keeps Abreast of the Latest Manufacturing Trends in PA
MANTEC is a York, PA-based nonprofit manufacturing consulting firm that can provide your company with valuable insight regarding the most recent developments in the manufacturing industry. We can help you develop a cost-effective strategy for incorporating these developments into your daily workflow and processes. You can also count on us for expert training so you and your team can gain a better understanding of how emerging trends will impact your business.
Give us a call at 717-843-5054 to learn more.