Operational Excellence for the Challenges of the Future of Manufacturing

Technology, technology, technology, period. That’s the undeniable mantra of every manufacturer’s Chief Financial Officer. That’s where the money will go. In the Kronos/Industry Week The Future of Manufacturing: 2020 and Beyond study, they cite the top 10 market challenges as:

  1. Market volatility
  2. Material costs
  3. Price reduction pressures
  4. Labor costs
  5. Transportation/logistics costs
  6. Environmental laws and regulations
  7. Business regulations
  8. Global competition
  9. Labor laws and regulations
  10. Global geopolitical risks
  11. Global expansion

None of which come as new news to any executive in the industry. What has changed radically from previous decades in manufacturing is that the solution to overcoming these challenges is overwhelmingly… technology. Technology costs inflate material and labor costs to the extreme because purchasing technology and hiring/training for/in the use of it is expensive. Here’s a look at the 18 new-technology investment priorities of every manufacturer and how the technology drives profitability while reducing risk — and what human collateral is required to make the technology deliver.

Engineer using laptop computer for maintenance automatic robotic arm with CNC machine in smart factory. Industry 4.0 concept