2020 had been a chaotic year for several industries, and especially the manufacturing industry. As a result, manufacturers had to change their ways of operating drastically to suit themselves better to changing circumstances.
The ongoing threat to employee safety, the continuous disruptions in supplies, the need for working remotely, and evolving customer behaviour with prolonged lockdowns force manufacturers to change their ways of working and adapt to the new normal post the pandemic.
Here are the top trends which will shape the manufacturing industry post the second wave:
1. Employee safety is a top priority.
Though workplace safety has consistently topped the checklist for manufacturers, it has now taken on a new meaning post the pandemic. Beyond the mandatory precautions like social distancing and sanitisation, it is imperative to keep a tab on people who enter and exit the factory premises leading to an enhanced emphasis on traceability in the industry.
The concept of traceability also needs to be taken off-campus. Workers need to be well versed in each of their duties to minimise contact with outsiders and maintain social distancing within factory premises to prevent an outbreak on the shop floor.
2. Diversification of sourcing
The multiple lockdowns imposed during the pandemic caused a raw material shortage in the manufacturing industry across sectors. As industries open up, entrepreneurs must use technology for more accurate forecasting and explore ways to diversify their sourcing.
An advanced manufacturing ERP software will enable manufacturers to study their trade history, factor in current variables, and calculate their future demands accordingly. Moreover, given the disruption in international trade and changing guidelines and COVID restrictions across countries, businesses might choose to place a greater reliance on local suppliers to combat the transportation challenges and ensure uninterrupted supply.
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3. IoT becomes more crucial.
Besides empowering manufacturers to make strategic decisions based on real-time data, IoT helps businesses achieve –
- Cost reduction
- Product innovation
- Enhanced safety, and
- Improved efficiency
IoT has remote monitoring and predictive maintenance capabilities, which has boosted its popularity post the second wave. In addition, a study by the MGI group revealed that nearly a third of product processes now incorporate embedded intelligence and smart devices. Such integrated machinery and deeper insights might come in handy to continue operations at a large scale with minimum staff presence.
4. Monitoring changing customer behaviours
The coronavirus pandemic has drained the economy and has led to several changes in the customer psyche and buying behaviour. As a result, the demands for certain goods have witnessed a rapid rise, whereas, for others, it has declined and isn’t likely to go up in the foreseeable future. Thus, manufacturers need to keep a tab on the present and future requirements to minimise losses and maximise sales.
5. Predictive maintenance
A breakdown in critical equipment even for one hour causes extensive loss in productivity and revenue. To ensure that all the equipment in the unit functions at its optimum level, several manufacturers are now turning to predictive analysis. IoT automates the data collection process, and manufacturers can keep an eye on the equipment performance using several performance metrics.
COVID has made it even more difficult for field technicians to show up and resolve issues at a moment’s notice. However, by remotely monitoring equipment performance and timely raising the alarm for any possible malfunction, manufacturers can take pre-emptive measures to resolve issues before they disrupt operations and cause further damage.
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Over to you
The pandemic has overhauled the world and the manufacturing sector. To survive and thrive in this new era, manufacturers need to keep up with the rapid pace and reimagine the future of their operations.
Equipment finance solutions from Tata Capital will reinforce your enterprise’s lifeline through these troubled times. Get in touch with our representatives to know more about how Tata Capital can set your company up for future success.