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As IDC Manufacturing Insights reported at the end of 2013 about how important it was for manufacturing to focus on operations and technology by highlighting these 10 salient points, the United States was settling into what would be a long and economically stifling winter, thanks to that pesky thing they call the Polar Vortex. We all lamented when we saw that in Q1 the economy and manufacturing seemed to take a dip with growth of -1%. Well, growth is clearly the wrong word there, but you get the point. However, as spring melted the snow and life sprang from the ground as it always does each Spring, so did the economy and manufacturing. You see, it seems that manufacturers knew it was all pent up, and they simply kept their heads down and focused on technological investments in areas such as automation in logistics and in operations by implementing a new process. They knew that when spring sprung, they were ready to bounce and get to work moving the economy forward once again. By the end of the second quarter, it was reported that manufacturing was in full swing and that it helped fuel a 4% growth in the next quarter. As we have written on the Cerasis blog (along with many other publications) the numbers are speaking for themselves when it comes to the future of manufacturing. Simply read our manufacturing content category and you will see articles outlining the transformation, revival, renaissance or whatever you want to call it around the manufacturing industry. There is still a lot of work and issues to work out (this skills gap thing seems to continue to be a part of the conversation as well as trade deficits and the uncertainty around the number of jobs in manufacturing), but it seems by the sheer number of articles around manufacturing in not only the industry magazines but also from some of the larger companies such as Wal-Mart’s “Made In America” push. Indeed manufacturing is doing due diligence work to get back into the daily minds and lexicon of the American people who once cherished and loved its proud manufacturing base but as of late has for some reason come to view it as a dirty boring job (which according to Diana Peters of Symbol Training in the Chicago Tribune is just not the case).  Perhaps this is why IDC Manufacturing insights again has stepped up to the challenge of outlining the future of manufacturing by releasing a white paper on the next few years of manufacturing.

Future of Manufacturing White Paper from IDC Manufacturing Insights

Regardless of how you view manufacturing, one thing is for sure: manufacturing is back. Governments, media, and manufacturers themselves are changing their minds about the industry, with a renewed awareness of the role it can play in achieving a strong economy. With a better business outlook expected in 2014, the manufacturing industry is undergoing a renaissance. To harness the momentum created by the manufacturing renaissance, manufacturers will need to transform today’s challenges into opportunities. It won’t be an easy task, and manufacturers will need to completely rethink their business model, organizational structure, and IT landscape. This IDC “Future of Manufacturing” White Paper will help manufacturers as they make this transformation by providing an overview of:

  • The current challenges and future opportunities that justify the need for manufacturers to undertake a major rethinking of their business models.
  • The business capabilities that manufacturers will need to be successful — self-forming teams, skilled resources, speed of business, “globally local” manufacturers, customer experience, and end-to-end supply chain visibility.
  • The transformation strategy needed to move the company from a “transactional business” to a “real-time business,” including the key business initiatives that manufacturers will need to implement over the coming years.
  • The extraordinary advancements and increased adoption in IT — particularly cloud, mobility, social business, and Big Data analytics — that support and speed up every process domain ofa manufacturing enterprise.
  • The 3rd IT Platform (based on cloud, mobility, social business, Big Data analytics technologies), which will create a real-time, collaborative, decision-making environment.
  • The next-generation ERP system based on the 3rd IT Platform which will continue to support the manufacturing industry of the future.

The paper also provides an essential guidance section with advice for manufacturing enterprises setting out on the journey toward the future of manufacturing.

Embracing the Manufacturing Revolution

A resurgence of innovation is sweeping across the manufacturing industry. Ground breaking technologies, from 3D printing to social machines, are dramatically changing the landscape, creating new market opportunities and a renewed emphasis on growth and profitability. Yet even as optimism grows, increasing pressures create new challenges. To seize emerging opportunities, manufacturers must be responsive, strategic and alert.

Don’t be left behind in the Future of Manufacturing

Issues can change overnight. New best practices emerge suddenly. If you aren’t on the leading edge, you run the risk of being left behind. Without up-to-the-minute market intelligence and real-time access to performance details, you are likely to stumble blindly. Keeping pace with continuously evolving customer demands, global market conditions, and product innovations requires vision, agility—and savvy. The future of manufacturing begins now. Are you ready? Download the white paper by visiting here.