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Smart Manufacturing and Custom Market Research

Why the World Needs Smart Manufacturing Now

In recent times, technological advancements have transformed the manufacturing industry. As experts speculate the benefits and detriments of these advancements, it is widely accepted that smart manufacturing is leap forward for manufacturers across sectors. Currently, smart manufacturing is becoming the focus of manufacturing globally. It is the integration of the manufacturing industry and new-age information communication technology. As this change permeates the manufacture process in the form of smart factories and the adoption of industry 4.0, it is transforming traditional manufacturing for the better.

The benefits of smart manufacturing are unparalleled, for instance, it can accurately predict requirements, identify errors, make innovation easier, and make the manufacturing process easier. It is crucial to note that smart manufacturing is the process of combining various technologies and solutions and implementing it into the manufacturing process. These technologies and solutions are referred to as ‘enablers’ and include artificial intelligence, blockchain in manufacturing, industrial internet of things, robotics, and more. Unlike the commonly misconception of it being a direct implementation on the existing process, the actual process is long-drawn and challenging.

For this reason, manufacturing companies across the world are leveraging custom market research solutions, to help them understand the market and make the transition easier. In this article, Infiniti’s research experts highlight the various benefits of, and factors affecting smart manufacturing. Additionally, they highlight the benefits of custom market research for the industry.

Smart manufacturing is taking the world by storm, and it is crucial for manufacturing companies to be prepared. Get more information to learn more about this global phenomenon and what it means for your company.

Smart Manufacturing and IIOT

The industrial internet of things (IIOT) is an ecosystem where every device, machine, and process is connected through data communication. It incorporates machine learning and big data, while harnessing sensor data and automation. The concept behind IIOT is that machines capture, analyze, process, and communicate data better than humans can. Giving manufacturers the opportunity to identify inefficiencies and find solutions faster than they ever could previously. IIOT can make smart manufacturing faster, more efficient, and more profitable. It does this by providing manufacturers with precise information throughout the production process.

The Benefits of Smart Manufacturing

Technological advancements offer various benefits in every industry and sector. In the case of smart manufacturing, these benefits change the manufacturing process entirely. Every smart factory provides manufacturers with the following impactful benefits:

Automated data:

All the information procured and made available through the technology implemented in smart factories allows managers to make more informed decisions. It also makes it possible for manufacturers to link their technology with business goals and measure their key performance indicators more efficiently.  

Predictive maintenance:

With constant, precise information from their technology, smart factory managers can predict and resolve maintenance issues. This, in turn, avoids downtime and negative effects on product-quality.

Significant cost reductions:

Smart manufacturing allows manufacturers to increase forecast accuracy and reduce waste. It also provides better insights into supply chain systems, such as demand levels, inventory, delivery status. This helps reduce costs with appropriate supply-chain and demand management.  

Enhanced productivity:

With seamless data on bottlenecks, machine maintenance, and functioning, and operational inefficiencies, manufacturers can substantially enhance productivity. Smart manufacturing helps make the required adjustments to improve quality, reduce waste, and potentially increase yield.

Smart Manufacturing and COVID-19

As the world attempts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and manufacturers across the globe suffer losses. With mandated social distancing in most countries, continuing the traditional manufacturing with hundreds of employees present is not possible. This has led to considerable growth in smart manufacturing. With a reduced need for manpower, and high automation, not only can manufacturers continue production, but they can also recover from their losses with high efficiency, and lower costs.

The world is slow to recover from this pandemic, and industries across the globe are changing to a data and IoT dependent work approach. Businesses are encouraged to create more technology-dependent work modules, to reduce risks and losses. Digitizing processes provides manufacturers with increased flexibility that will be essential in coming years. It also allows businesses to protect workers, safeguard jobs, and build an adaptable manufacturing industry.

Identifying and successfully stepping into the future with the manufacturing industry is crucial. As opportunities present themselves, speak to our experts to learn how to seize them in the best way possible.

The Benefits of Custom Market Research for Smart Manufacturers

In times of fast and crucial change, businesses must rethink their business model, marketing approach, and strategies for various facets of the industry. Custom market research solutions address unique business challenges and develop comprehensive, unique strategic solutions. As the smart manufacturing industry grows at breakneck speeds, manufacturers need assistance in successfully transitioning into industry 4.0. Infiniti’s experts further detail the benefits of custom market research solutions:

Targeted Research:

Custom market research solutions allow businesses to focus on specific pain points and procure target market research regarding them. This targeted data enables businesses to acquire forecasts regarding market trends and market growth in their niche market space. As industry 4.0 evolves, these solutions always allow businesses to be prepared and a step ahead.

Deeper Insights:

Custom market research companies provide insights based on a combination of primary and secondary research. With insights from industry experts and major stakeholders, as well as a compilation of information from various industry forums and databases, this data is detailed and highly insightful. These insights can help manufacturers identify potential risks with proven data and develop actionable strategies as they work towards creating their smart factories.  

Comprehensive Research:

Custom market research solutions compile information effectively from various sources. Additionally, custom market research companies help companies develop the ideal strategic approach to challenges and overcome them while evolving with the market. Industry 4.0 is challenging, and comprehensive data can help manufacturers embrace the changing market efficiently.

As industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing evolve, companies must ensure they are prepared to evolve as well. Custom market research solutions make this possible. Request a free proposal to gain comprehensive insights and actionable solutions.

Additive Manufacturing and Demand Management

Staying Ahead of the Curve with Additive Manufacturing

Technology is developing at exponential rates, and every other industry is developing simultaneously. The latest development in the technological world is additive manufacturing at a large scale. More commonly known as 3-D printing, the young concept has grown to a mass production level rather quickly. However, 3-D printing and rapid prototyping, while used interchangeably with additive manufacturing, are subsets of the same. The role it plays in the manufacturing industry now is highly impactful and is bringing about change that is long overdue.

There is no limit to the positive impact of additive manufacturing. It is a sustainable, durable, more efficient, and the extent of manufacturing design it allows is incomparable. Additionally, it is reforming traditional supply chains across industries, allowing companies to reduce losses, save time, optimize products, and increase automation, also in-turn reducing risks substantially.

However, as the manufacturing industry grows, it is faced with challenges relating to changing demands, on-demand needs, wide range designing and execution, major investment, and maintenance. Experts suggest leveraging demand management solutions for efficient growth. Demand management helps additive manufacturers strategize according to customer demand and benefit from all the advantages it offers. In this article, Infiniti’s industry experts discuss additive manufacturing and the advantages, impact on businesses, and need for demand management.

Speak to our exerts to learn more about the role of demand management in the growing manufacturing industry and stay ahead of the curve.

The Advantages of Additive Manufacturing

As an industry grows, so do the technologies it employs. Additive manufacturing is a crucial indicator of the growth of the manufacturing industry. To help understand how it is beneficial, experts at Infiniti have highlighted the following four key advantages:

  • Design Freedom: Additive manufacturing uses materials that can be printed in the preferred design, removing the limitations of rigid and unyielding materials. This allow for a wider range of designs. Reducing the need to design and construct in limited capacities. Parts that previously required welding or brazing, can now be singularly designed and manufactured. This also allows to create designs that could previously not be attached due to various material issues.
  • Sustainability: Additive manufacturers can now use solely the materials required, bringing down waste by a substantial amount. Without the need to cut parts or supply from a larger material, such as rigid flex, there is no excess material that would most commonly need to be disposed of. This in-turn reduces energy consumption and lowers carbon footprints.
  • Faster Manufacturing Cycles: Since the process is initiated through efficient software, a large amount of time is saved in the transfer of information process. This allows for faster prototype production, and therefore, faster testing. Additionally, changes can be made immediately, reducing time and material wasted in the testing or optimizing process.
  • Accuracy and Efficiency: The high level of automation, design freedom, and control through software in additive manufacturing provides high levels of accuracy that would not be possible with an assembly line. Additionally, as previously mentioned, the changes required can be immediately made, and efficiency will remain uncompromised.

The Business Impact of Additive Manufacturing

While knowing the wide span of advantages of additive manufacturing is crucial, it is also important to understand how exactly they impact businesses. Additive manufacturing has had a highly positive impact on the manufacturing industry, and all other industries associated with it. The following five points explain the business impact as well:

On-Demand Supply:

Additive manufacturing allows for goods and products to be produced as and when required, as opposed to the mass manufacturing approach of the traditional method. This allows for customers to acquire products, spare parts, and goods as per their need, and businesses to only produce as per current or accurately forecasted demand. For businesses, this translates to reduced waste, higher demand, higher customer satisfaction, and reduced costs.

Faster Supply Chain:

Additive manufacturing majorly reduces the impact of various physical material issues. An additional impact reduced by this form of manufacturing is that of trade issues. The materials used are readily and locally available, reducing the risk of changing policies. Additionally, with the reduced need for assembling various parts, since products can be printed in various geometric shapes, there is need for a singular raw material.

Increased Automation:

Since a single unit can produce a complete part without the need for tooling, reducing dependence on fixtures and production time. Further, there is a reduced need for manual intervention during the manufacturing process, seeing as most of the process is automated. This requires a lower amount of labor, also requiring less-skilled operators.

Product Optimization:

The most prominent issue in mass production, is the inability to make immediate changes to the product or process. For instance, a flaw in a certain manufactured product, would require various major adjustments in the manufacturing process to change. Since additive manufacturing uses one raw material, and can be digitally controlled, change is easier, which in turn makes product optimization easier. Reducing the costs of procuring more raw material, the need to acquire more skilled labor, and the loss of large sums due to a flaw.

Understanding the advantages and business outcomes of additive manufacturing is crucial to propelling the growth of the manufacturing industry. Get more information to gain more in-depth insights from our experts.

The Role of Demand Management Solutions

While additive manufacturing has innumerable advantages, it also has certain challenges that make it difficult for industries and companies to easily grow with the fast propelling industry. While these units conserve time by reducing transport of raw materials, allowing automation, and allowing faster testing cycles, their limitation is that they print one layer at a time. Similarly, other challenges such as the lack of expertise in this field, the large initial investment and maintenance costs, and the lack of digital infrastructure required in many cases.

However, these are challenges that can be efficiently dealt with as the system begins to grow. More importantly, companies now faced with high demand, and issues with delivering accordingly. The future of additive manufacturing is highly dependent on its interaction with demand management solutions in the coming years of forecasted growth. Infiniti Research’s demand management experts are equipped to approach and tackle this exact challenge. By efficiently forecasting demand, preparing for market trends, and estimating consumers’ demands, the demand management process can significantly reduce risks and increase supply chain agility.

The demand management process is crucial to the efficient growth of additive manufacturing. Request a free proposal to learn how Infiniti’s demand management solutions experts help additive manufacturers grow strategically.

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Taming Sales Complexity in the Manufacturing Industry

As the growth of the manufacturing industry continues to soar, it is natural that the buying processes involved have consequently become more complicated, lengthier, and involving more stakeholders in the sales cycle. While growing manufacturing companies make supplier collaboration and diligence on the manufacturing floor a top priority, eliminating complexity from customer-facing processes often takes a backseat. Furthermore, as product portfolios grow broader, multi-year service contracts are becoming the new normal and shorter product lifecycles are bound to make the sales manager’s job in the manufacturing industry even more challenging. Based on our expertise in helping manufacturing sector clients to overcome similar challenges, we have listed out some ways by which sales managers in the manufacturing industry can overcome complexities.

Want to learn more on how sellers in the manufacturing sector can better keep up with the rapid changes in buyer behavior? Request a free proposal for comprehensive insights on our solutions for companies in the manufacturing industry.

Communicate with decision-makers

Generally, most B2B purchases in the manufacturing sector involve at least five or more people. Each of these stakeholders will also be in charge of different teams that could influence their key decision-making. It is vital for the sales team in the manufacturing sector to be able to gain a comprehensive understanding on the company including its culture, goals, and what support their primary contact needs in order to get others onboard. A best practice here is to think through the mind of the buyer and how they would convince their team about your products. If the key questions of the key stakeholders can be effectively taken care of, then it becomes for easier for sales managers to close the deal.

Customize based on the requirement

Different internal stakeholders in a buying organization will have different requirements. As such, the one-size-fits-all approach here could prove to be ineffective. Therefore, it becomes essential for manufacturers to tailor experiences for different stakeholders. A good majority of B2B buyers will be willing to pay more for a great experience while making a purchase, making this a crucial factor for companies in the manufacturing industry to consider.

Request a free brochure to learn more about our solutions and how we help our clients tackle key business challenges.

Leverage consumer insights

Sales managers in the manufacturing industry must leverage appropriate customer relationship management tools. This will help them prevent losing valuable customers to competitors. Modern CRM systems have the ability to track which content has been sent to a contact, and when coupled with a sales Enablement platform, can track which parts of this content have been read and which works best for certain sectors. When used together, CRM and sales Enablement can help marketers and the sales team to analyze and understand how best to influence prospects.

How can you accelerate your company towards more strategic initiatives in the manufacturing industry? Get in touch with an expert to find out.

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Exploring Critical Challenges Facing the Swiss Manufacturing Industry

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As the center of gravity of manufacturing has gradually migrated to Asia over the past decade, it has become acceptable in more developed nations to assume that manufacturing industry can no longer play a substantial role in the expansion and continued sustainability of their economies. Switzerland is known for setting itself apart internationally by being a highly competitive and attractive market to do business. The Swiss manufacturing industry has come under increased pressure over the past couple of years. The global financial crisis and the subsequent strength of the Swiss franc posed several manufacturing industries challenges. In the view of these manufacturing industry challenges, the questions to find answers to here is how long Swiss manufacturing companies can remain competitive and how they are going to do so.

It is important for companies in the manufacturing industry to build on existing strengths in order to flourish and stay competitive in the long run. Request a free proposal to find out how our solutions can help companies in the manufacturing industry achieve this.

Manufacturing industry challenges in Switzerland

Economic volatility

The Swiss economy is characterized by rising volatility and increased uncertainty since the global financial crisis almost a decade ago. Subsequently, there was an increased pressure on margins of companies in the manufacturing industry due to the strengthening of the Swiss franc. This situation was stabilized to a considerable degree when the swiss national bank implemented the EUR/CHR exchange rate floor. However, the increasing pressure has resulted in several companies in the Swiss manufacturing sector to make additional operational adjustments. Manufacturing companies exporting primarily to Europe are most likely to shift their focus outside traditional markets to growth regions.

New growth markets

During recent years, strong economic growth has occurred in emerging markets rather than developed markets. In this scenario, the key challenges for Swiss manufacturing industry companies will be to expand their operation further into new growth markets and at the same time compete effectively with existing players in these markets.

Get in touch with our experts to gain insights on how we can help manufacturing industry players to increase efficiency and productivity.

Rising global competition

Amidst rising global competition, innovation, the need to introduce new and innovative products are becoming paramount for companies in the manufacturing industry. While targeting new growth markets, manufacturers must ensure that their products are tailored to suit local needs. Product innovations are essential in developed markets to survive despite the rising competitive pressure. The challenge here for companies in the Swiss manufacturing industry will be to reinvent themselves amid these tensions, especially because new products from emerging markets are increasingly being imported to developed countries and has become a source of competition for manufacturers in domestic markets.

Shortage of resources

Another critical challenge for Swiss manufacturing companies involves issues such as shortage of resources, which is prominent in case of talent and energy. Firstly, the Swiss manufacturing industry has long experienced shortage of labor and this needs to be addressed immediately in order to remain globally competitive. Secondly, Switzerland’s energy policy provides for phase-out of nuclear power and promotes renewable energy sources. This entails both risks and opportunities for the Swiss manufacturing industry. The challenges here would be to restructure the energy industry as an opportunity while staying prepared for contingencies such as electricity prices or uncertainties in terms of supply securities.

Learn more about Infiniti’s solutions for the manufacturing industry

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Curated Insights on the Manufacturing Industry from Infiniti’s Industry Experts

The past decade has been tumultuous for the global manufacturing sector. Large developing economies made their way into the first tier of manufacturing nations, a severe recession choked off demand, and there was a steep fall in the manufacturing employment in advanced economies. Despite this, manufacturing remains critically important to both the developing and the advanced world. The changing nature of the manufacturing sector means that old responses are no longer sufficient to sustain. While manufacturing remains crucial to support economic stability in both developing and advanced economies, business leaders and policy makers must keep track of the pulse of the sector to identify opportunities and challenges coming their way. We have curated some articles from Infiniti’s thought leaders about how the manufacturing environment is changing and what business leaders must do to adapt.

Key forces that will drive growth in the future of manufacturing in Europe

Europe’s manufacturing industry will play a significant role in building a sustained and competitive economy. The manufacturing sector currently accounts for nearly 15% of Europe’s GDP and will play a significant role in their long-term economic development. According to industry experts at Infiniti, factors including nearshoring in eastern Europe, carbon neutral manufacturing processes, and the rise of industry 4.0 will play a pivotal role in driving the future of manufacturing. Read the article for more insights.

A guide to effectively tackle your manufacturing overhead costs

The current scenario in the US manufacturing sector is much different from what it has been for over the past two decades. As output growth in the US manufacturing industry has been largely concentrated on a few industries such as electronics, pharmaceuticals, and aerospace, there has been a considerable fall in labor share of US GDP. The US manufacturing industry must now focus on positioning themselves to leverage existing opportunities and prepare to compete in the future rather than making attempts to recreate the past or maintain status quo. Gain expert opinion on how companies in the US manufacturing industry can tackle their excessive overhead costs on this blog.

Top manufacturing industry trends

Manufacturing companies around the globe are increasingly exploring radically new ways of creating and capturing value. Furthermore, with the changing demand of consumers, manufacturing will no longer be limited to producing physical products alone, it will largely revolve around personalization and customization. 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. In this blog, industry experts at Infiniti provide comprehensive insights on the top manufacturing industry trends that you must watch out for.

FAQs on smart manufacturing

Smart manufacturing is one of the most trending topics among manufacturing experts right now. Smart manufacturing is a powerful force with the potential to restructure the existing competitive landscape and produce a new set of market leaders. In this blog, experts at Infiniti answer four key questions relating to smart manufacturing and how it is transforming the manufacturing landscape as we know it.

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Answering 4 Key Questions About Smart Manufacturing

Over the past couple of years, smart manufacturing has been the trending topic of discussion amongst manufacturing experts, strategists, and industry thought leaders. Despite smart manufacturing garnering increasing popularity, many in the manufacturing industry aren’t quite sure of what it entails, its benefits, and how it is relevant in their organization. Smart manufacturing is a powerful force with the potential to restructure the existing competitive landscape and produce a new set of market leaders. Companies that are slow to adopt such advanced technologies and processes could be left behind.  In this blog, experts at Infiniti answer four key questions relating to smart manufacturing and how it is transforming the manufacturing landscape as we know it.

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What is smart manufacturing?

Smart manufacturing involves the use of fully-integrated and collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real-time for catering to the rapidly changing demands and conditions in the factory, the supply network, and customer needs. It is a broad concept that cannot be implemented directly in the production concept. It employs computer controls, modeling, big data, and other automation to enhance manufacturing efficiencies.

RFP to know how our market intelligence solutions can help manufacturers overcome key challenges and strategize to stay prepared for future hurdles.

What are the benefits of smart manufacturing?

Smart manufacturing opens up new avenues of innovation that will optimize the creation of higher quality products, improve productivity, sustain safer plant floors, and improve energy efficiency. Furthermore, it will give manufacturers the opportunity to boost employment rates over the current national manufacturing workforce. With the adoption of smart manufacturing techniques, more technology based manufacturing job positions will be available, creating direct manufacturing as well as non-manufacturing positions.

What does smart manufacturing mean for manufacturers?

For small manufacturing companies leveraging any type of business intelligence solution from legacy systems has been extremely limited.  Generally, these systems are not interoperable. As business models are increasingly becoming non-scalable, non-replicable, overly complex, and costly, it is increasing the difficulties for small manufacturing firms. Using smart manufacturing technology, small and medium companies in the manufacturing industry will gain access to new and growing forms of business intelligence. It can also be used to analyze data and test simulations that play a significant role in improving products, design, and performance.

Need more information on the key opportunities and challenges facing the manufacturing industry right now and the strategies to overcome them? Get in touch with our experts.

How does data drive smart manufacturing?

Smart manufacturing primarily revolves around harnessing data. Since smart factories are built on the foundation of data, cybersecurity will play a key role in the entire manufacturing ecosystem. While enabling advanced techniques such as smart manufacturing, data security is imperative. Machines, smart sensors and robotic platforms on the shop floor generate data that is necessary for monitoring, maintenance, and the basic management of the production line. However, much of this data remains in information silos within the factory. Greater integration of context data coming from several different data sources can enhance efficiency and increase the speed of production processes.

Learn more about Infiniti’s solutions for the manufacturing industry.

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How the US Manufacturing sector Compares to Other Nations

After several years of falling output and diminishing labor force, the industrial manufacturing sector in the United States has been enjoying resurgence over the past couple of years. According to manufacturing industry experts at Infiniti Research, factors including the strengthening economy, better workforce quality, favorable tax policies and regulatory environment, and reduced transportation and energy costs are catalysts for this revival. In order to move forward, it is essential to understand how the manufacturing industries across the world are performing in comparison to that of the U.S. manufacturing industry. In this blog, experts at Infiniti Research provide insights on the manufacturing trends and some of the manufacturing challenges faced by different nations. They also highlight how the US manufacturing sector compares to these nations.

China has one of the strongest manufacturing industries in the world in terms of manufacturing output and the percentage of its national output that is generated. Meanwhile, Poland has the highest percentage of its workforce employed in manufacturing.

United Kingdom

The drop in the value of the British pound against the U.S. dollar and the euro has strengthened the U.K.’s manufacturing sector, thereby facilitating an increased demand overseas for goods from the country. Furthermore, the manufacturing sector holds a strong presence in the country due to its significant role in the export economy. In fact, the manufacturing sector contributes to a good majority of the U.K.’s overall exports. One of the key manufacturing trends in the U.K. is the rising efforts made to capture a significant share of the overseas market. However, the weak pound can impose manufacturing challenges as it may increase the import cost of certain supplies. Furthermore, as Brexit negotiations unfold, the future of manufacturing in the U.K. will experience significant turbulence.

Most companies in the manufacturing industry often cite congestion, logistical issues, or connectivity problems as major barriers to overcome. Are you facing similar issues in your business operations? RFP to learn how our solutions can help you overcome to these predicaments.

Switzerland

The effective governance policy in Switzerland has played a favorable role in shaping its strong manufacturing g sector. As a result of their long-held international neutrality, the country has transparent and fair processes, strong judicial effectiveness, and good economic and political stability. Moreover, Switzerland prioritizes being a strong trading country. The country has also got a top-notch manufacturing talent pool with a large number of highly-skilled workers. The key manufacturing challenges faced by companies in Switzerland include the cost of production and the strong franc value that could hamper exports.

Brazil

The rising corruption in Brazil is one of the primary factors that has plagued the country, resulting in a flailing manufacturing sector. Corruption makes investors reluctant to pour money into business operations due to chances of long-term uncertainty. Consequently, this dampens the chances of long-term investment and business growth. This can have adverse effects on the country’s manufacturing sector. A healthy manufacturing sector is contingent upon transparency in financial transactions, relative certainty in a country’s political environment, and individuals being held accountable for illegal action.

Indonesia

Although a decade ago Indonesia’s manufacturing sector contributed a significant amount of their GDP, Over the years the industry’s contribution has considerably dipped. Indonesia is largely hampered by anemic labor productivity. The sizeable proportion of small and unproductive firms in Indonesia are dragging down the entire sector. To improve their global competitiveness, Indonesia needs to develop its workforce and advance its manufacturing sector. They must focus on incentivizing manufacturing companies with low productivity to either exit the industry or improve their productivity through technology and skilled labor.

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Manufacturing sector in the US

Skilled workforce, advanced technology, and pro-business policies have propelled the growth of the manufacturing sector in the U.S. Manufacturing contributes to over $2 trillion to the United States economy. The labor costs in the United States are significantly higher than in other countries. However, the levels of productivity found in the United States make up for this difference, making the country an attractive location for manufacturing investment. Furthermore, disruptive technologies including additive manufacturing, 3D-printing, robotics, and the utilization of the IoT and Big Data are revolutionizing the U.S. manufacturing sector. This has not only increased levels of productivity but has also made the United States one of the most attractive locations for high-technology manufacturing firms. The United States has, benefited from open trade policies, and in order to attain continued manufacturing growth, the country should avoid tariff wars or overly restricted trade policies.

The gap in labor costs in the United States in comparison to other countries has started to drop and is expected to continue as the cost of industrial robots falls.

Learn more about how manufacturing sector challenges vary from region to region and how our market intelligence solutions can help overcome them.

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Why are Top manufacturers moving to Contract Manufacturing?

What is contract manufacturing?

Contract manufacturing is often used interchangeably with the term ‘outsourcing.’ outsourcing is the technique of transferring portions of work to outside sources and suppliers, instead of undertaking the entire work within the company, resulting in lower costs and expenses. Contract manufacturing is a form of outsourcing where a manufacturer enters into a formal agreement with another manufacturer (contract manufacturing organization) to produce parts, products, or components, which the former will then use in its own manufacturing process, to complete its own product. They then undertake their own marketing, sales and distribution, and customer service to bring the final product to the end-users or consumers. In some cases, contract manufacturers may also be specialized organizations that provide contract manufacturing services to more than one business. 

Learn how top manufacturers around the globe are enhancing their operations. Request a free brochure to know how our solutions can help your business get there.

Different types of contract manufacturing

The different forms of contract manufacturing vary based on nature and operations involved in a business. Some of the most common forms of contract manufacturing agreement includes:

Production of the entire product

As the name clearly suggests, this involves contract manufacturing organizations building the entire product for a company under the brand name or label of the latter. This type of contract manufacturing is also called as ‘private label manufacturing’.

Production of parts or components

In this type of contract manufacturing, companies depend on a contract manufacturing organization to produce parts or components that will be incorporated into the final product of the company. For instance, a computer hardware manufacturer can use contract manufacturing for producing smaller computer parts and components, which is then assembled into their final product.

Hiring service or labor force

This involves subcontract for labor. If a business does not possess enough manpower in their company to carry out production processes smoothly and quickly, then they can outsource labor. Take the example of big multinational companies in the US who set up their manufacturing unit in Asian countries and subcontract their labor forces to Asian human resource companies. The key reasons why companies adopt this form of manufacturing is the specialized skills that these labor forces have and the comparatively cheaper cost of labor when compared to their home countries.

Using manufacturing equipment or facility

Companies that do not have the facility or the equipment to manufacture can transact with a contract manufacturer for the use of their facility. This saves the company capital investment needed to set up a manufacturing unit.

Confused about what strategies will help you increase your profit margins? Leave it to the experts! Request a free proposal to know how we can help you formulate the best go-to-market strategy and increase your share of wallet.

Why do top manufacturers favor contract manufacturing?

The decision to make or buy a product/ parts of a product can often prove to be a tough decision for companies. They often undertake feasibility studies for the management to gain a better understanding of what would be more beneficial for them. One of the key benefits that companies can derive from contract manufacturing is the reduction in cost and expenditure. But this is not the only reason companies opt to get into agreements with contract manufacturing organizations. Some of the other reasons include:

  • Improved allocation of resources
  • Greater focus on core business functions
  • Increased innovation and enhanced product quality
  • Reduction in manufacturing time
  • Streamlined business relationships

 

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Top 3 Challenges Facing the Manufacturing Industry and Ways to Tackle Them

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.

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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 quicGet More Infokly 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.


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Exploring the frontiers of manufacturing with Market Research

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:

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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 engineGet More Infoering, 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.

Reduce risks

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.


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