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Manufacturing Industry Updates Supply Chain Industry Updates

‘Normal’ was Furloughed. Here’s How to Navigate a ‘Never-Normal Future’

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The unofficial mission statement of 2021. (iStock/Soulmemoria)

“Be careful or you may turn out normal!” was the message printed on a coworker’s coffee mug. There is little chance of manufacturers confronting the same fate, a recent white paper makes clear.

“The Never-Normal Future of Manufacturing: 2021 Manufacturing Trends” looks at four trends that are likely to shape the industry for the foreseeable future.

“Manufacturers are masters of continuous improvement — methodical and measured,” observes company MasterControl, a provider of a cloud-based manufacturing and supply network platform. “But what happens when the pace and magnitude of change render existing models of operation and improvement ineffective? That’s the question facing manufacturers in 2021, and it will force many manufacturers to implement new models and technologies faster and more extensively than ever before.”

MasterControl says to keep on eye on these four ongoing developments:

  • Acceleration is the name of the game — “Manufacturers must continue finding new ways to leverage technology to streamline production and meet demand. Those who don’t risk falling behind,” the paper says, suggesting manufacturers use technology to better connect workers and processes.
  • Liberated data transforms business — Why collect all that data if you don’t do anything with it? The paper quotes a consultant with PwC US: “Companies that can harness the power of automation and machine learning can leapfrog the competition. Big data, in combination with advanced analytics, is enabling rapid learning and adjustments through rapid closed-loop solutions.”
  • Balanced supply chains keep production humming — The disruption that began last year with the pandemic and has continued into 2021 is making organizations look hard at ways to make their supply chains more resilient.
  • New workforce realities emerge from disruption — More than 50% of factory work will be done remotely by 2024, according to one projection. Is your company prepared for that?

The complete paper can be downloaded here.

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