With artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things dominating the futurespace of technology, this blog looks at, in particular, how this may affect the manufacturing industry.
COMPAREX UK Blog Editor
Traditionally, manufacturers have been preoccupied by a focus on reliability, incremental improvements, and close relationships with customers. This conventional approach, while not only making logical business sense, has until recently stood them in good stead.
However, the next era of competition for manufacturers will be framed digitally; entailing the evolution of everything from the sales team and management, to the very design of the products themselves. Digital technologies such as data analytics and advances in computing capabilities, combined with AI, automation, robotics, and the IoT, will transform every link in the manufacturing value chain.
In the future, manufacturers will sell solutions, not just products. Development and design will be carried out by agile teams; managers will have access to more data insights than ever before; AI and automation will be commonplace.
To succeed in this new digital age, manufacturers will need to step out of their comfort zones and implement organisational transformation – all at the same time. However, while the last five years have witnessed an unprecedented wave of digitalisation across every vertical, manufacturers have typically been slow to respond.
Manufacturing generates huge amounts of data – the currency of greatest value in the digital economy – though few companies are harnessing its value. Companies that tap into and analyse the data they generate will uncover valuable insights to drive profits and growth, and uncover new revenue streams.
As an example, consider the paradigm of traditional car manufacturers, and Uber:
Both are ultimately in the business of transporting people, but that is where the comparison ends. While VW, Ford and GM meet that need on the floors of factories and showrooms, using a century of manufacturing and sales experience, Uber meets the public’s transportation need not with steel, glass, rubber, or forecourt salesmen – but with data. Uber’s data and algorithms have already made it more valuable than some of the world’s largest and most established car manufacturers.
In a highly competitive and increasingly globalised marketplace, where profit margins are thin, and consumers demand ever more sophisticated products and services, digital transformation is the key for manufacturers looking to remain competitive and relevant.
VMware provides an end-to-end IoT management solution that helps onboard, manage, monitor and secure IoT use cases; to run smarter factories with optimised production, enhanced process efficiency, and reduced downtime. Furthermore, VMware helps empower the digital workspace beyond the factory floor. Its solutions securely extend workforce capabilities and collaboration beyond the four walls of the plant, giving consumer-friendly, enterprise-secure access to apps and data to workers, contractors, and suppliers.
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