THOUGHTS

Innovation in the Making: Latest Trends in Industrial Manufacturing

Jan 5, 2018

The global economic expansion during the period of 2001-2008 compelled several industrial manufacturing companies to bet on the wrong horse. Many companies invested heavily in new technologies and equipment designed to improve factory performance. But all their efforts took a huge hit when the market unexpectedly crashed during this period.

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Although currently, the economic growth in the industry looks positive, it is not particularly robust. These patterns are making industrial manufacturers more aggressive and deliberate in their investments. Undoubtedly, there is a remarkable opportunity for manufacturing companies; and even so, the sector remains risk-averse. Below are a few trends that are gaining popularity in the industrial manufacturing scenario despite the significant challenges in the industry:

Data and data analytics into business model

With the increasing inclination of the world towards technology, the players in the industrial manufacturing space are left with no other option but to follow the herd. Industrial manufacturers can bundle a variety of services enabled by connectivity and data by upgrading their technical capabilities. The services can include collaboration with customers on a daily basis to customize asset optimization, real-time monitoring of equipment to determine the maintenance needs, predictive performance management, etc. By adopting data analytics techniques and new technological innovations, players in this sector can enhance their customer retention and gain more lucrative commercial engagements.

Innovative pricing strategies

As technology is gradually altering manufacturer-customer relationships, the companies in this industry are slowly thinking of changing their pricing models from pay-for-product to pay-for-performance. Instead of setting the equipment prices based on products and fixed maintenance or warranty costs, industrial manufacturers are basing fee structures based on the outcome. For example,  in case the industrial downtime is reduced, or if an upgrade in equipment improves productivity, industrial manufacturers may be paid more.

Paving the way for talent development and retention

Industrial manufacturers often find themselves in a bad position when trying to retain and attract talent. While many of the job candidates are attracted by the lucrative opportunities at Silicon Valley, what industrial manufacturing companies need to do is chart out a plan for themselves to attract more candidates. Companies are becoming more focused on hiring staffers that display diverse expertise and skillsets. This will help shorten the learning curve of the organization in the long run. Even the companies that currently are not in need of tech-savvy staffers need to prepare themselves for the future requirements as the growing economic scenario will demand a skilled workforce in the long run. 

Develop strategic partnerships

To develop data analysis, equipment connectivity, and software that are beyond the current capabilities industrial manufacturers must seek expertise outside the industry. Major industrial manufacturing companies are increasingly partnering with technology firms to leverage technology such as cloud-based platforms and the Internet of Things that can run the industrial workspace. But these alliances can be risky. Companies need to strike a balance between partner selection, close collaboration with strategic partners, and at the same time maintaining their hold in the market.

Mine operational data

With advances in technology, the manufacturing industry is soon going to have to manage an avalanche of data coming from various sources. Therefore, players in the industrial manufacturing space are hiring people who can effectively mine these bits and bytes of information and work closely with the customers, and open new revenue streams for the business. By being proactive in implementing technology and utilizing the data for the right purposes, manufacturing companies can earn better gains from the business.

To know more about the trends, opportunities, and challenges in industrial manufacturing

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