Manufacturers are facing a number of pressures, from soaring raw material costs to changing consumer demand and digital transformation. These pressures are forcing manufacturers to find new ways of doing business, as well as implementing innovative supply chain strategies that will help them thrive in the future.
This blog post will explore six supply chain transformation trends for manufacturers and how they can implement these strategies to remain competitive in today’s market. Each of these trends applies to nearly every industry and sector, which means that manufacturers need to adjust their strategy accordingly and adopt these transformations sooner rather than later. This blog is based on the whitepaper Six Trends That Are Shaping Supply Chain Transformation for Manufacturers which you can download below.
1. Circular Manufacturing Opens a Path for Greater Sustainability
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, manufacturing is responsible for 76.6% of total US emissions. Companies across the globe strive to combat this problem by reducing the amount of byproduct pollution and investing in alternative energy sources. Manufacturers are working hard to optimize their facilities and significantly lower their carbon footprint. One way they feel they can achieve this is through circular manufacturing. Circular Manufacturing Centers foster the habits of reuse and recycling. These centers recycle as much as possible, reducing waste.
2. Building Closer Relationships with Customers Pays Off
In the past, customers would have almost zero interaction with manufacturers. However, in the past few years, some manufacturers discovered the benefits of developing relationships with the end customer. They learned that gathering and analyzing customer data allows them to improve their offerings, build loyalty with their customers, and in turn increase their margins.
3. Smart Factories Increase Efficiency and Agility
Smart Sensor technology and cloud computing are revolutionizing manufacturing. In fact, 45 percent of executives expect large increases in efficiency thanks to these investments and advancements in the industrial internet of things. Thanks to these advancements, companies are more connected than ever. Allowing them to collaborate, and fill customer demands much faster. To keep up with their competition, businesses must adapt quickly, and increase the agility of their supply chains.
4. Workplace Automation Increases Employee Satisfaction
Competition for highly-skilled and motivated employees is higher than ever. Manufacturers have discovered that one of the keys to attracting and retaining talented workers is automation. No matter whether automation is implemented in the supply chain, companies have noticed that automation allows employees to focus on more challenging aspects of their job rather than mindless, repetitive tasks. Employee satisfaction inevitably leads to improved performance as well. Automation is a great way for companies to decrease turnover while increasing their margins.
5. Data Helps Employees make Smarter Decisions
Thanks to smart sensors and cloud computing, employees have access to more data than ever. This access to real-time data allows manufacturers to make faster, smarter decisions. Data is more important than ever. With the sheer amount of global supply chain, easy access to data from manufacturing facilities across entire oceans is crucial. In fact, digital leaders in the industrial sector on average deliver returns of 47 percent to their shareholders. This is just more evidence of the massive competitive advantage that data affords manufacturers.
6. New Tools to Simplify Risk Prediction
How manufacturers to respond to risk is something that can make or break a company. 68 percent of supply chain executives report that they have been constantly responding to high-impact disruptions within their supply chains for the past three years, without any time to recover and prepare for the next one. Based on this statistic, disruptions are a constant in today's environment. So, many manufacturers are adoption systems that effectively predict these disruptions before they happen. This allows them to quickly and efficiently respond. By stopping risks quickly, or before they happen in some cases, manufacturers are free to focus on making their supply chains significantly more agile and durable.
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