The fifth industrial revolution is focused on connecting workers and machines. This collaboration between people and smart systems provides additional opportunities for your manufacturing company. Embracing these changes lets you outperform your competition and gain market share.
Keep an eye on these manufacturing trends in 2023.
Changing Focus from B2B to B2C
Many manufacturers are moving from a business-to-business (B2B) model to a business-to-consumer (B2C) model. This provides the following benefits:
- Receiving the entire manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) rather than the wholesale price increases your profits.
- Prototyping, testing, and getting products to market takes less time than selling to businesses.
- Eliminating the risk of third parties diluting or misrepresenting your brand increases your brand’s strength.
- Reinforcing your MSRP results in stronger price control and greater revenue.
- Collecting data directly from your customers helps develop better products, stronger relationships, and greater sales than collecting data from third parties.
Effectively selling directly to consumers requires an e-commerce platform that supports your B2B and B2C sales platforms. Your platform also must do the following:
- Handle secure payments
- Provide order fulfillment and tracking
- Offer customer service management
- Track your sales and marketing activity
- Provide a comprehensive view of your B2B and B2C customer interactions
Updated Approach to ERP
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems help manufacturers do the following:
- Use automation to streamline processes
- Provide accurate information in real-time
- Reduce costs
The coronavirus pandemic changed how manufacturing companies engage with and use their ERP systems:
- Many manufacturers layer agile applications on top of their ERP systems.
- Some of these applications handle employee safety or back-to-work systems.
- These temporary solutions help ERP systems adapt to the changes caused by COVID-19.
- There is no need to go through a multi-year development process.
Many manufacturers are using a data-driven approach to upgrade their ERP systems. The following are reasons why:
- Move data forward
- Consolidate around modern data platforms
- Build tangent functions on top of the existing data model
- Avoid performing a full replacement or making significant changes to the current ERP
- Increase the time to value
Reevaluation of Shoring and Sourcing
Many manufacturing companies are bringing imported goods or materials back to domestic production. Some of the reasons include the following:
- Stronger economies in offshoring countries mean increased wages for their employees.
- Countries with inexpensive labor lack the infrastructure to support complex manufacturing operations.
- Transportation costs are on the rise.
- Software programs and robotics automate many processes previously performed by humans.
The pandemic showed the United States’ dependence on offshore manufacturing:
- Critical supplies were lacking when COVID-19 began.
- There was no base to build upon in the United States.
- Manufacturers had to reevaluate their sourcing.
- The disruption to the global supply chain made it difficult to source materials from other countries.
- Many manufacturers brought their operations closer to where the finished product was sold.
- Reshoring and near-sourcing boost the United States economy.
Increasing Competition for Hiring
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