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Manufacturing Technology Trends for 2014

The manufacturing sector ended with six consecutive months of improved Manufacturing PMI Index increases. Most reports point towards steady increases in manufacturing output as well as confidence through the end of 2014.

Manufacturing Operations and Technology Trends for 2014

The report focused on two major points: Operations and Technology. Investment into improving both operations and technology have proved to be significantly expanding enterprise bottom lines.

This is because investments in such technology platforms as ERP solutions have been serving to help manage processes while at the same time increasing efficiency. The approach also improves reports on future cost savings while helping to cultivate smarter business decisions.

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Anytime a company outsources sections of the supply chain or logistics management to an expert, it allows operations to come into focus. ERP solutions open up the time to allow the manufacturer or distributor to invest back into the growing business.

There has also been an increase in freight shipping over the last quarter. Up from last year, it seems due to bringing on more clients while still working with current clients.

According to the report – the increase in capacity crunch, with more freight in North America – means that the biggest difficulty for shippers is to reduce transportation costs.

This effectively places LTL freight withcarriers who are able to get freight to customers on time at cost effective prices. When seeking information on how to fight the capacity crunch, ERP solutions were recommended.

Manufacturing Trends from IDC Manufacturing Insights

Logistics management for manufacturers and distributors needs to combine the trends – which means coming out better in both technology and operations as a result of effective application of ERP solutions.

The IDC Manufacturing Trends Predictions for 2014 are:

  • Manufacturers will be building 3D value chains.
  • A convergence of operational, information and consumer technology will reshape approaches to technology management.
  • Operations resilience will become a major focus for supply chain strategies.
  • Technology investment will involve modernizing existing supply chain systems, while also trying new approaches.
  • Modernization of underlying B2B commerce as a foundation becomes the investment priority for IT.
  • Product life-cycle management (PLM) strategies will increase globally as multidisciplinary, customer-focused and innovation-based.
  • PLM initiatives focus intensely on realization of value.
  • Foundations for future profits will base within “servitization optimization” becoming core to future profitable revenue growth. This will lead to manufacturers making the necessary investments to support these strategies.
  • 2014 will set the stage for a new manufacturing renaissance changing the face of factories and manufacturing processes.
  • IT investments on the plant floor will take much higher shares of technology investment portfolios.

The manufacturing industry established track records for continuously improving productivity. It remains the cusp of new waves that will significantly restructure value-chains much closer to demand irrespective of direct labor costs.

ERP solutions are being driven by an ‘intelligent economy.’ Customers are more informed, talent is at a premium. In 2014, companies need to promote a set of business initiatives across critical lines of business areas.

This includes supply chains, factory operations, product management, and customer experience/aftermarket services. Manufacturing ERP solutions provide an integrated real-time view of core business processes.

ERP solutions track business resources—and can been seen as having a major impact on manufacturing technology trends in 2014.