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Manufacturing Megatrends—These are the Trends Changing Today’s Industries

smoke stacks in clevelandWe’ll say it again and again on our blog—the manufacturing industry is going through some changes and all of them for the better! Manufacturing is experiencing a massive transformation in technology, workforce, and global interconnectedness thanks to the innovations of many forward-thinking individuals.

To map out these major trends, The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) asked senior industry executives what has been changing their business models in 2015. “The manufacturing world is being shaped by several new forces . . . and how companies respond will define their success,” says Jenn Callaway, MAPI’s director of councils and business research. “Recognizing the impacts these forces are already having on manufacturing companies, we wanted to better understand which hindered businesses the most last year and which trends may offer more opportunity than risk.”

Here are the highlights of MAPI’s research report, according to IndustryWeek:

  • The Skills Gap is Still a Major Hurdle to Overcome: While 64% of senior manufacturing leaders told MAPI the skills gap was having a negative impact on their businesses, 100% of middle managers report that is the case. Nearly half (46%) of CEOs and presidents said their firms were being hurt by baby boomer retirements while 34% reported a negative impact from the work-life expectations of millennials. So how do we fix this trend? Click here to find out!
  • Information is the New Currency of Business: Because of “unparalleled access to information on pricing and profitability,” MAPI notes, customers have “never been better informed on the total cost of ownership.” Some 75% of senior manufacturing leaders said understanding TCO had a positive impact on their businesses in 2015.
  • Thumbs Up to the Digital Revolution: Manufacturing leaders told MAPI they were overwhelmingly positive about the benefits of automation (84%), robotics (75%), and remote monitoring with IoT devices (75%). There are still some concerns over the security of such devices, but those concerns are squarely in the minority.
  • A Global Economy Presents Risks, But Also Opportunities: Nearly 86% of senior leaders in manufacturing cite a negative impact from global economic uncertainty, with 75% of respondents citing the U.S. economy as contributing to that uncertainty. But just because there is uncertainty in the world of manufacturing and industry doesn’t mean that all hope is gone. We’re primed and ready for a turnaround in industry here at home and opportunity is knocking at our door.

There may be some obstacles in our way, but the general trend for manufacturing is definitely looking up. This is certainly the business that young millennials should be a part of in the coming years!

photo credit: The Smoky Gloom of Cleveland via photopin (license)

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