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Top 5 Manufacturing Trends for 2018

by Mary Rooney | Feb 05, 2018

Change is cascading throughout manufacturing at unprecedented speed. Technology is the catalyst behind manufacturing’s ongoing transformation. Cloud technology, in particular, is proving essential for manufacturers seeking to eliminate old barriers and seize new and emerging opportunities. As we segue into 2018, cloud provides the framework that will drive more technological and business innovation in five key areas:

The Blended Business Mashup
Manufacturers aren’t just manufacturers anymore. In 2018, we’ll see more manufacturers become omnichannel retailers and service providers. More will take on the role of distributors, as retailers bypass traditional wholesalers and buy directly from manufacturers.

Collaboration in the Internet of People
Internet of Things is all the rage. But what about the Internet of People? The full spectrum of stakeholders — customers, partners and employees — is fast emerging as a priority for manufacturers. Cloud, mobile, analytics and social technologies are opening new avenues to enhance not just the customer experience, but the overall stakeholder experience.

Data-Driven Intelligence With Analytics
Many manufacturers have flirted with predictive analytics in recent years with mixed results. In 2018, we’ll see a large uptick in analytic capacity as manufacturers capitalize on advanced data capture and algorithms for analytics on data that’s growing rapidly in volume, variety and velocity.

Omnichain: What’s Next in Supply Chain Optimization
Supply chain optimization is hardly a new idea, but it’s poised for a quantum leap in 2018 driven by technology. More manufacturers will embrace the “omnichain” — a cloud model that unifies internal and external processes across extended networks. Omnichains encompass all supply chain processes, from an internal plant floor to a network of third-party partners.

Future-Proof Flexibility
Manufacturers know all too well that the pace of change is accelerating. IoT was a twinkle in the eye a few years ago, but it’s suddenly a very real phenomenon that’s rewriting the rules of high-performance manufacturing.

So, what’s next? Cognitive computing, virtual reality and Blockchain hold significant promise for manufacturing. Whatever you see on the horizon, manufacturers can’t afford to play wait and see, then try to catch up with emerging technologies.

Read the full article at www.mbtmag.com.

The future of manufacturing is the focus of the KC SmartPort 2018 Annual Industry briefing, Digitize, on April 4. Learn more here.

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