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As the use of the Internet and mobile devices continues to escalate, our entire system – manufacturers, distributors, and retailers – must change how they operate. New technology and dynamic shifts in the world labor supply will shape these new business models.
To meet the new demands and stay in the game, retailers must sell products faster and at competitive prices. This means distributors will need to shorten delivery schedules, and manufacturers will need to speed up their production cycles.
Here are five manufacturing trends that will impact the industry in 2015:
1. Social, mobile, analytics and cloud will drive higher customer engagement and growth opportunities. This will force innovations and changes in manufacturing to increase efficiencies.
2. Social media is forcing manufacturers to become more customer oriented. The old B2B model is becoming obsolete as today’s consumers are better informed and expect products on-demand.
3. The Internet is forcing manufacturers to increase automation to keep up. This is driving a new focus on science and engineering education, which is cultivating workers able to run these new high-tech automation systems.
4. Increased investment in upgrading plants, equipment and technologies. Manufacturers are focusing on better value with innovation and faster manufacturing cycles needed to keep pace with Internet-powered commerce.
5. Manufacturing will move closer to consumers as a result of higher Asian wages, greater shipping costs, and the demand for quicker deliveries. This should be good news for the US.
With these five trends coming our way, it looks like industrial automation itself will be experiencing some serious growth, as manufacturers upgrade their facilities.