Manufacturing is an essential aspect of global progression and has been for centuries. In the U.S. alone, manufacturing makes up 12% of the national output — with companies reporting a median annual revenue between $50 million and $100 million per year.
Thankfully, manufacturing isn’t going anywhere.
On the contrary, the industry is thriving and will likely continue to succeed thanks, in part, to a number of tech-based trends:
1. A Shift From B2B to B2B2C
For years, the manufacturing sector was exclusively business-to-business. That’s starting to change, however, thanks to a more active consumer pool and rapid innovation. Shifting to a business-to-business-to-consumer model provides a cluster of industry advantages, including:
- Branding and pricing control — Since manufacturers are in charge of branding, pricing, and everything in-between, they’ll have a lot more leverage in the market.
- Increased profit — With B2B2C, manufacturers can sell their products at the full manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) rather than wholesale costs.
- Improved customer relationships — Since products can be prototyped, tested, and delivered at a much faster pace, customers will be much more content with their relationships with manufacturers.
- More accurate consumer data — Selling directly to customers enables manufacturers to gather all kinds of data, subsequently resulting in better products, increased sales, and stronger data points.
2. The Inert of Things (IoT) Will Likely Take Over
IoT is a system of interrelated computing devices, machines, objects, and anything else that can be provided with unique identifiers in order to transfer data over a network — without human interaction. This innovative process has streamlined virtually every industry across the globe and manufacturing is no different. IoT will help manufacturing companies with everything from product innovation to efficiency and compliance boosts.
3. Blockchain Technology Will Impact Financial Operations
Blockchain, which is a growing list of records (blocks) that are linked using cryptography, is taking the manufacturing world by storm. Not only will this high-tech approach improve financial operations, it will boost speed, strengthen security, and provide a much more cost-effective solution to all transactions taking place across the manufacturing sector.
4. Increased Need for Cyber Security
Perhaps the only bad part about welcoming all this new technology into the global market is the increasing threat of cyber attacks. Digital hackers are breaking into company networks all over the world, and the most skilled criminals are targeting transactions relating to technology spending. Thankfully, the manufacturing industry is aware of these dangers and are actively developing new strategies to improve their cyber security approach.
Additionally, here are some notable statistics that point to a healthy — and growing — industry:
- Across the U.S., small company manufacturing output has increased by 48% since 2009.
- 64% of machining businesses experienced growth in 2018.
- 59% of automotive manufacturing businesses experienced growth in 2018.
- 61% of manufacturers plan to spend more on personnel expenses moving forward.
- Between 2018 and 2028, the U.S. manufacturing sector is projected to have nearly 2.2 million jobs filled.
- 60% of manufacturing businesses stated that cloud adoption led to improved business agility.
- Thanks to technological developments, small business manufacturing productivity has increased by 15%.
- 63% of manufacturers believe that utilizing IoT will increase profitability by 2024.
- The manufacturing sector is expected to invest as much as $267 billion in IoT by 2020.
From developing new ways to drill aluminum alloys to streamlining certain aspects of product assembly, this crucial industry isn’t going away — it’s getting stronger. As long as manufacturers continue to evolve, prepare for the worst, and welcome new and innovative strategies, there is no manufacturing goal that is out of reach.