Last week, we celebrated Manufacturing Day for 2015. Basically, on this day every year, the industry as a group pauses and reflects upon the past year and the upcoming trends. This year, things were no different. Everyone can agree on the fact that the future of Manufacturing is not at all what is used to be. There were 3 major conclusions the industry landed on:
- China is no longer all that matters. Let’s not kid ourselves, there is still a lot of products in manufacturing that still come from China. However, a new paradigm has taken over for securing industrial goods closer to the customer. High quality, low-volume products are now being built in the US. This allows for easier and improved customer service, all while lowering shipping costs. Not to mention the ever on-going movement of being able to advertise “Made in America”.
- Technology is connecting everything. It started with large Manufacturing companies and now is working it’s way down to mid-size and even some smaller Manufacturers. Machines are equipped with technologies that provide data, data that is then entered into an all-encompassing system. Technology has now figured out how to tie every aspect of the supply-chain and all other departments together into one functioning system, the ERP. The truth is that although many Manufacturing companies are implementing ERP systems, many are still relying on the old-fashioned way of doing business. The being totally connected is not something they are welcoming with open-arms, which ultimately is putting them behind their competitors.
- End users are embracing flexibility and customization. Flexible manufacturing and packaging is hot right now. When is the last time you bought a bag of Lays potato chips or oreos, and got the same packaging twice. It’s most likely been awhile. Many verticals within manufacturing are moving into offering customers choices and customization options. No longer does a pair of sneakers just come in white.
The reality is that the world of Manufacturing is changing, as is the world of Technology. If you don’t keep up, you are out of the race. Customers, Competition, Suppliers, all of these are real and all of these are putting pressure on you to have your organization function at a high level. If you think about how much your business has evolved in the last year, you have to understand that technology companies are evolving at the same pace, if not faster. Which means, you need to stay on top of your IT systems and make sure they are regularly upgraded. Are you running an ERP version that is more than 5 years old? Think about what your companies line card looked like 5 years ago? What features and benefits are different now? Now imagine, what features and benefits your ERP manufacturer has added in the last 5 years? Pretty scary to think about huh?
Once a year, the Manufacturing Industry has a day set aside to consider what has changed and what changes are coming. Do you take 1 day a year where you give your technologies the same courtesy? You should. If you need help assessing the state of your IT systems and network, or your ERP system, give 2W Tech a call today. We can help make sure that your technology is evolving the way it should to keep your business in the game.