manufacturing industry challenges
Currently, several tech and digital trends including the Industrial Internet of Things, robotics, and AI are delivering efficiencies and new opportunities for companies in the manufacturing industry. Owing to the advent of such manufacturing industry trends and advancements in technologies, companies in the manufacturing industry will need to constantly innovate their products offerings to meet future trends and newer technology demands. Moreover, these rapidly changing manufacturing industry trends demand the need to develop new strategies and invest in technology to gain a stronger foothold.
With the business world moving faster than ever before, the client, a manufacturing firm in Ireland experienced constant challenges when it comes to keeping up with the evolving manufacturing industry trends. Also, the client noted an unexpected drop in their company’s sales, revenues, and profits as they lacked the capabilities to identify emerging industry trends and market changes. Thus, with the aid of Infiniti’s market trend analysis engagement, the client wanted to analyze the market trends and market opportunities. Moreover, with the aid of Infiniti’s market trend analysis engagement, the client wanted to identify whether there would be a spike or decline in business activities in the near future to accurately develop their business goals and marketing plans accordingly.
Our market research experts conducted in-depth market surveys and used market trend analysis techniques to uncover new manufacturing industry trends and methodologies to support the client’s business growth. Based on the data obtained from Infiniti’s market trend analysis solution, the client was able to create a new business plan to effectively market their products to the target customers. The developed market trend analysis engagement also empowered the manufacturer to identify future trends and capitalize on new acquisition targets.
Moreover, with the aid of Infiniti’s market trend analysis solution, the client was able to make a well-charted out comparison between their company and competitors. The trend analysis solution also helped the firm to compare their company’s performance with the industry average.
An analysis of all the future trends in the manufacturing industry including, IIoT, robotics, and AI helped them constantly innovate their service offerings to meet the current demands. In addition, the client was able to make better decisions on their marketing strategy which enhanced the company’s marketing ROI by 14%.
What is trend analysis?
Identifying precisely where your brand sits in consumers’ mind is always useful. With the aid of market trend analysis, businesses can better understand how and why the brand needs an alignment. Trend analysis methods are commonly used to analyze the statistical market data and behavior over a definite time period in order to generate valuable insights for strategizing and forecasting future business plans.
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Leading players in the manufacturing industry are confronting uncertainties in the face of digitization and new customer expectations. The manufacturing industry is one of the important wealth-generating sectors of the global economy and accounts for a significant share of the global workforce to develop materials needed by organizations across various industries. Moreover, as the drumbeat for innovation and digitization grows louder, companies in the manufacturing industry are facing the need to plan new strategies and invest more in technology to gain a stronger foothold. Consequently, the advent of technology is posing a new set of challenges before the industry, which need to be addressed in order to maintain the growth momentum. In this article, we have discussed some of those challenges and have suggested a few measures to tackle them effectively.
Challenges in the Manufacturing Industry
Challenge #1: Shortage of skilled labor
With the baby boomer generation entering the phase of retirement, the manufacturing industry is facing an acute shortage of labor. Today, employers in the manufacturing industry need employees with a different set of skills. There are certain tasks that have become automated and machine sensors have become more commonplace. This has created the need for manufacturers to collect large amounts of data and is opening up new avenues for employment.
Solution: To tackle this challenge, manufacturers need to plan their strategic workforce smartly. Also, they should focus more on recruiting millennials who have technical skills and ‘know-how’. Additionally, there must be an emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills to streamline recruitment initiatives.
Challenge #2: Management of project
In the manufacturing industry, projects are typically cost, time, and quality sensitive and, as a result, tend to be rigid and tightly controlled. Such rigidity and tight control mean less ability to make adjustments or update scope as the project progresses. Many of these projects need a design commitment, with little flexibility to alter as requirements change or new information pops up. This becomes quite frustrating for a team that wants to produce the best product but is handcuffed by deadline constraints.
Solution: To deal with such manufacturing industry challenges, the team leader needs to ask for dedicated resources. Also, utilizing the project service automation software that includes universal resource scheduling can help the manufacturers to quickly find resources that are available and adjust the schedule based on the predicted completion date of the project.
Challenge #3: Analyzing the data
With the increasing use of the Internet of Things (IoT), the manufacturing industry is facing difficulties in aggregating and analyzing the data. While many organizations may have smart machines already on their shop floor, they lack the systems to extract and analyze the data being captured by these systems. This forces manufacturers to miss out on quality. Therefore, manufacturers are facing the dire need to improve their data mining capacities to improve real-time decisions.
Solution: Implementing an IoT solution designed to help maintenance of predictive analytics, as well as remote monitoring, can help companies in the manufacturing industry to analyze their data in real-time. Also, this can help in predicting the time when maintenance of an asset is required. Consequently, manufacturers can shift from replace or repair maintenance model to a fix and predict model.
Want to know which marketing tactics may work for your manufacturing business? Take the assistance of our inbound marketing experts who understand your pain points and are laser-focused on the manufacturing industry challenges. To learn more,
Manufacturing is and will continue to be a critical force in both advanced and developing economies. However, the global manufacturing sector has undergone a tumultuous decade. From large developing economies leaping into the first tier of manufacturing nations, a severe recession choking off demand, to manufacturing employment falling at an accelerated rate in advanced economies. The good news here is that the manufacturing industry is all ready to be re-imagined, reinvented, and reborn. Here are five incredibly potent opportunities in manufacturing that manufacturers have to pounce upon if they wish to stay competitive through smarter manufacturing:
Smart manufacturing opportunities in manufacturing
Intelligence in the manufacturing industry must be carefully planned, implemented, managed and invested in. This generally requires a completely new view and perspective regarding what is traditionally looked at as strictly a mechanical or procedural challenge. This includes advanced data collection from sensors and actuators, immediate knowledge of inventory, assets, production condition; and increased process, productivity, and cost granularity.
Manufacturing intelligence must be used by companies in the manufacturing industry in such a way that it will predict the future so that decisions and actions are taken before problems emerge, before the occurrence of risk, and before opportunities are wasted. This includes enabling predictive technologies, embedded analytics, and rapid response capabilities.
Quality management is the way ahead for how players in the manufacturing industry can achieve nearly zero waste, zero incidents, and zero emissions. The new improvements in quality will develop from factors including information visibility, connectivity, and analytics.
Manufacturing network monitoring
The ability to see and act on your entire network enables companies in the manufacturing industry to predict problems, quickly deploy corrective actions (such as repairs), and keep the entire network humming. This results in improved operational decisions; enhanced remote visibility; and the lowest cost of production possible.
Visibility and visualization
Unless information helps businesses to understand and act, it becomes practically meaningless. It is necessary to have a holistic, dynamic view of the company’s operations in real-time, and visualize people, systems, assets, and inventories as they make their way through a complex supply chain. Manufacturers can see multiple factories in a single view, utilize advanced manufacturing dashboards; and optimize their capacity across the entire enterprise using new instrumentation, networks, and control rooms.
Know more about Infiniti Research’s solutions for the manufacturing industry
Market research involves systematically gathering comprehensive data about a market. The results of market research, which are usually summarized in a report, are then used to help business owners make more informed decisions about the company’s strategies, operations, and potential customer base. It also plays a critical role in analyzing industry shifts, changing consumer needs and preferences, and legislative trends, among other things, can shape where a business chooses to focus its efforts and resources. That’s the value of market research. Market research is cardinal to all industries, but it is particularly vital and indispensable for manufacturing companies. This is primarily because for manufacturing companies the costs and consequences of making misinformed decisions can prove to be fatal. Moreover, any wrong decisions can be catastrophic especially in cases such as new product launches, entering new markets, and acquiring businesses. In this blog, manufacturing industry experts from Infiniti Research have discussed some of the key factors that make market research pivotal for manufacturing companies:
Gain a high spot during B2B sales cycles
In the case of manufacturing companies, the duration of a B2B cycle can range from a few months to a year. Using an effective market research study, players in the manufacturing industry can identify and analyze methods and content including eBooks, videos, and demos that will engage prospects, and keep them top-of-mind across the buyer’s journey.
Identify buyer personas
A buyer persona is a hypothetical representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about the company’s existing customers. Market research facilitates manufacturing companies to identify each of the buyer personas that they are likely to encounter. This encompasses the procurement managers, heads of production and engineering, production line workers, quality managers, health and safety managers, technicians, and field engineers. Manufacturing companies can then build strategies that engage and impress each of them accordingly.
Discover unavailable information
Although secondary sources of collecting data often prove to be quite useful, there are several cases where a market research report that is customized to provide the required insights for manufacturing companies prove to be more valid. These reports provide manufacturing companies with the insights required to make informed business decisions regarding aspects like differentiation, customer experience, new products, product evolution, segmentation, channels, market opportunities, and market sizing.
Risk mitigation is one of the primary factors that decided the success or failure of manufacturing companies. Companies that replace more unknowns with knowns when compared to their competitors, put themselves in a position to reap substantial and sustainable gain. Market research replaces speculation and assumptions with hard data and reliable evidence — which, in both the short run and long term, can make all the difference between thriving and struggling.
Get in touch with our market research experts for more insights into the manufacturing industry
Today, the manufacturing industry is perhaps one of the most complex and complicated industry in terms of production and operation management in the world. Many manufacturing companies, in a bid to maximize profits, try to simplify their systems to reduce waste of inventory, production, and time. However, to boost profits and growth, manufacturing companies need the help of a market intelligence report. Such reports can help them gain real-time actionable insights into their systems and procedures, which can subsequently help them achieve their goals. But before talking about the solution, let’s look at the challenges that the manufacturing industry is facing globally. (more…)
The shifts in consumer demand coupled with the changing economics of production and distribution are compelling manufacturing companies to explore radically new ways of creating and capturing value. In fact, manufacturing is no longer limited to simply making physical products. Modern customers demand personalization and customization in their products. The new age industrial revolution also termed as industry 4.0 is powered by innovative technologies such as smart manufacturing, robotics, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies are expected to be major driving forces in the future of manufacturing. Furthermore, today most industries are increasingly becoming automated and software driven, reducing the human intervention involved. The application of advanced technologies such as nanotechnology, cloud computing and (IoT) is turning tables for manufacturers in ways unimaginable a few decades ago.
Future of manufacturing
Aerospace and biomedical sectors were the first industries to reap the benefits of nanotechnology. However, this technology has slowly made its way into the manufacturing industry, promising to be a prominent resource in the future of manufacturing. Manufacturing companies are using nanotechnology to manufacture lightweight stronger materials for boats, sporting equipment, and auto parts. It is also used in the production of personal care items such as eyeglasses. This technology is believed to be of a significant importance in the future of manufacturing.
Predictive maintenance and big data
Measuring big data in real-time to improving productivity and efficiency will go mainstream in the future of manufacturing. With the help of predictive maintenance technology, manufacturing companies can predict snags and defects and thus cut downtime and costs. The future of manufacturing will witness big data and predictive maintenance in various aspects of the factory.
Leveraging supply chain
Delivering more value to the customers than the competitors is the key to sustain in the future of manufacturing. While pricing is extremely important, savvy players in the manufacturing industry will continue to distance themselves from price wars by leveraging new technology that simplifies supply chain management. This, in turn, would deliver many competitive benefits that include – being able to operate your business more efficiently, more visibility and control over inventory, reduction of operational costs, and improved customer satisfaction and retention.
VR and AR in the future of manufacturing
Advanced technologies such as AR and VR are expected to make a mutually benefitting relationship between man and machine in the manufacturing industry. VR technology can be used to step up the future of manufacturing by interfacing seamlessly with computer-aided designs. With the help of VR, product developers can quickly make modifications and additions to products during the product design stage before they go into modeling and manufacturing processes. AR and VR technologies can also decrease inspection time and assist in detecting errors in addition to improving workers’ sight line, which enables them to complete tasks faster. For instance, by using AR devices such as electronic glasses or goggles, computer-generated graphics can be placed in a worker’s field of vision that provides him with real-time help when it comes to performing a task.
3D printing can ensure less expensive and faster production in the future of manufacturing. Rapid prototyping in 3D printing is a highly cost-effective way for product designers to test and troubleshoot their products. In addition, it enables manufacturing companies to produce items on demand rather than manufacturing and warehousing them beforehand. Also, the 3D printing is also playing a great role in transforming the expensive and time-consuming process of tooling for manufacturers. 3D printing enables tooling to be cost-effectively completed on-site, in days and has already been embraced by the automotive and aerospace manufacturing industries.
Know more about the trends and innovations in the future of manufacturing
The manufacturing industry has come a long way since the industrial revolution. In fact, manufacturing jobs are no longer reserved for just the blue-collar workers, considering the current innovations and the requirement of technical expertise in this sector. The manufacturing industry plays an invaluable role in the development of both emerging economies and developed markets. Not only does this sector have immense scope in terms of technological advancements but also remains one of the most labor-intensive industries in the world. The types of manufacturing process followed varies depending on each sector and the end-products. There are multiple types of manufacturing processes that a manufacturer uses, and those can be grouped into four main categories:
Molding of products
Molding is one of the most popular types of manufacturing processes that’s being used for products that start out as liquids. Casting is one of the popular forms of molding and involves heating plastics until it turns liquid and then pouring it into a mold. The mold is designed in the desired shape of the final product. Once the plastic cools, the mold is removed, and the product is formed in the shape which was intended. Manufacturers also use such types of manufacturing processes to make plastic sheets, which has a wide variety of applications. Some of the common types of molding include blow molding, which used to make piping and milk bottles; injection molding, which melts plastic to create 3-D materials such as butter tubs and toys; compression molding, used for large-scale products like car tires; and rotational molding, used for furniture and shipping drums.
Joining or assembling parts
The parts manufactured cannot function in isolation. This makes joining or assembling one of the integral types of manufacturing process. Joining uses processes like welding and soldering to apply heat to combine materials. Pieces can also be joined using adhesive bonding or fasteners. Welding doesn’t require overlapping materials, and so it removes excess weight brought on by other fastening methods. This eliminates the requirement of fasteners purchased and stored in stock. Welding helps reduce the costs related to extra parts, for example, angles mounted between parts.
Shearing and forming
Shearing comes handy when dealing with sheet metal. The process of shearing uses cutting blades to make straight cuts into a piece of metal. Such types of manufacturing are also often referred to as die cutting and are often used on aluminum, brass, bronze and stainless steel. Forming is another important function among the different types of manufacturing, which uses compression or another type of stress to move materials into the desired shape. Forming is often used with metal, however, it can also be used on other materials, including plastic.
Machines in manufacturing
Machines are an important element of every manufacturing process, especially in the production of products like metal parts. Today, tools like saws, sheers, and rotating wheels are being used in manufacturing units. Innovations such as laser machines have the capability to cut a piece of metal using a high-energy light beam and plasma torches can easily turn gas into plasma using electricity.
To know more about the innovations in the types of manufacturing
Today, chief information officers (CIOs) of manufacturing companies are facing numerous changes that will affect the future growth prospects of manufacturing companies. Driving this change are a number of opportunities to grow and boost manufacturing processes. Though research shows that manufacturing companies will have ample opportunities to grow, CIOs will witness the advent of new manufacturing challenges that will compel them to change the way they look at strategies to improve the scale, speed, and simplicity of manufacturing processes.
At Infiniti, we are constantly in touch with manufacturers and hear first-hand about the issues they face. Since the manufacturing challenges are real, we thought we’d list out a few so that CIOs of manufacturing companies can devise effective business strategies to address them head-on.
Top manufacturing challenges of 2018
One of the biggest manufacturing challenges that CIOs face today is boosting their revenue growth with the technology systems that they already have in place. Manufacturing companies will have to re-strategize their production workflows to meet the demands of short production runs for existing products and streamline new product introductions.
Shortage of skilled workforce
With Baby Boomers exiting the workforce and taking their valuable manufacturing skills with them, new reports claim that more than three million manufacturing jobs will become available over the next 10 years. Manufacturing companies are already feeling the heat when it comes to filling the vacant positions and the impending exodus of Baby Boomers will only add to their growing tally of manufacturing challenges for this year.
Though new technologies are aimed at making life easier for all of us, that’s not always the case for manufacturing companies. Technologies such as IoT, industrial automation, cloud and edge computing, and robotics are advancing at a break-neck speed. And by the time IT teams of manufacturing companies adjust and get approvals for new technology installations, a better solution emerges. This rapid development and availability of new technologies will be one of the biggest manufacturing challenges of 2018.
One of the major manufacturing challenges faced by CIOs this year is ensuring cybersecurity. With advances in technology and advent of new platforms, the risk of data leaks has also increased. Today, hackers aren’t just happy stealing data, they want to extort money by holding the confidential data hostage. In the past year, Ransomware attacks have almost doubled, and manufacturing companies can expect more frequent attempts as they integrate more technologies into their manufacturing processes.
Risk mitigation and avoiding uncertainties are a crucial part of any business process. When manufacturing regulations change, the costs associated with the manufacturing process also ebbs and flows. Tax regulations and trade agreements keep changing with every news cycle and amendments to government regulations can wreak havoc for manufacturing companies. Manufacturing challenges in the form of regulatory changes is one of the major factors influencing the profitability of manufacturers. As a result, CIOs need to be on top of their game at all times and predict changes before time to remain profitable.