With the onset of robotics and automation, the manufacturing industry is awash with change. Call it a revolution! The companies that are flexible, visionary, and innovative will fare the best. If you can adapt and stay ahead of the waves of change, your company will do very well. Here are four manufacturing trends to watch for in the remainder of 2018.

The expanded role of manufacturers

As technology becomes more accessible, so too does distribution. Which means that manufacturers can cut out the middleman—retailers—and sell directly to their customers. So, continue to build your brand and seek out marketing directly to your consumers, so they know how to reach you. Many manufacturers will also expand their business to include services as well. Think: asset management, marketing, logistics, delivery, and e-commerce.

Predictive analytics

Algorithms for data-driven analytics continues to improve and advance, so more and more manufacturers will seek them out to help them develop better products, lower costs, and bring their products to market even faster. With the right numbers and data, companies can engineer better products, use machines and workers more efficiently, and predict supply and demand. Sensors, strategically located in plant equipment and products, have advanced a lot of this data. These tools, combined with cloud platforms and information captured from supplier and distributors, will make sure these data-driven insights are as accurate as possible. Companies who fail to seize the new technology risk being left in the dust!

Collaboration of stakeholders

Everyone involved in manufacturing, from customers to employees to partners, can unite via the cloud, social media technologies, mobile platforms, and analytics to streamline communications and collaborations. By doing so, companies can make their supply chain more efficient, improve product designs, and unite all personnel for speedier decision-making.

Flexibility and adaptability are key

As the pace of change continues to accelerate, manufacturers’ flexibility will truly be tested. If it hasn’t hit your industry already, Blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, and virtual reality are all on the horizon. Many are in prototype phases now and some companies have already adopted others. Get ahead of the game, so you don’t have to play a costly game of catch-up later!

For more tips on how to prepare your company for manufacturing trends, or to find top-talent, connect with one of our top manufacturing recruiters today!

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