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4 Critical Shifts in Manufacturing Shape the Recovery from COVID-19



The coronavirus pandemic imposed massive disruptions in manufacturing, but according to insights from McKinsey & Co., the gap between companies leading the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the majority was growing rapidly.

Since its inception in 2018, the Global Lighthouse Network (GLN) of advanced manufacturers has demonstrated how leading companies can realize the full potential of the innovations and advances at the core of 4IR. GLN’s network and its 54 factories have found ways to improve sustainability, competitiveness and customer satisfaction during the pandemic.

“The goal of this community is to share and learn from best practices, support new partnerships and help other manufacturers deploy technology, adopt sustainable solutions and transform their workforces,” the World Economic Forum said.

According to McKinsey, these are the four durable shifts in manufacturing and supply chain that have emerged as “particularly critical”:

  1. Improved agility and customer centricity across end-to-end manufacturing and supply chains facilitates faster recognition of customer preferences. This enables quicker adjustments to manufacturing flows at next-generation, small-scale modular plants to allow higher levels of customization.
  2. Supply chain resilience provides a competitive advantage, requiring connected, reconfigurable n-tier supply ecosystems and regionalization.
  3. Speed and productivity are attained through increased levels of automation and workforce augmentation coupled with upskilling and reskilling efforts.
  4. Eco-efficiency is increasingly considered a must-have to remain in business and ensure compliance with an increasingly complex regulatory landscape.

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