We talk a lot about manufacturing trends in Revolution. But sometimes it feels like we’re stuck in a never-ending loop of the same topics year after year: More Localized Production. Artificial Intelligence. Predictive Maintenance. While these issues continue to play a big factor in the future of manufacturing, several of the 6 “megatrends” from this year’s Roland Berger study definitely gave us new perspective to consider. Here’s a sampling.
Gone are the days of consumer choice being limited to a handful of options for mass production, as manufacturers are forced to meet the growing tech-driven demand for customized goods. It’s a tall order, but manufacturers will need to reimagine their business models to keep up. In many areas, mass production has become hybridized with customization. Car manufacturers, for example, use modularity to introduce customization at the tail end of mass production. Different car models that share the same components can be produced identically up until final assembly, where custom modules are added for a unique touch.
While autonomous tech has forever changed the production landscape, manufacturers still face a lot of challenges. Shifting trends and near-constant innovations have made it hard for them to adapt and scale fast enough. “In this scenario,” says the report, “companies can either meet disruption with disruption—by rehauling their current business models, or by establishing new partnerships and collaboration (with suppliers and shareholders alike.)”
As governments go so far as to put public policies in place to promote local production and secure more jobs for their own citizens, manufacturers may face steep tariffs and taxes if they don’t follow suit. To protect themselves, the report says, manufacturers should increase their “operational resilience and agility.”
It’s a good thing Hamilton products have always been made in the USA.