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IDC Manufacturing Insights hosted a web conference “IDC Manufacturing Insights Predictions 2014: Worldwide Manufacturing” highlighting the Top 10 predictions for the year ahead. Featuring analysts Robert Parker, Heather Ashton, Sheila Brennan, Simon Ellis, Kimberly Knickle, Pierfrancesco Manenti, and Amy Rowell, the session provided organizations with insight and perspective on long-term industry trends along with new themes that may be on the horizon. The Predictions web conference series is designed to help company leaders capitalize on emerging market opportunities and plan for future growth.

“The manufacturing industry has an established track record of continuously improving productivity and is at the cusp of a new wave of gains that will dramatically restructure value chains to be closer to demand regardless of direct labor costs,” says Robert Parker, group vice president and general manager of IDC Manufacturing Insights. “This is being driven by an intelligent economy where customers are more informed, talent is at a premium and the time to react to changes is compressed.

“In 2014, companies should put together a set of business initiatives across critical line of business areas such as supply chain, factory operations, product management, and customer experience/aftermarket services, and follow a progression toward the principles of the 3D value chain, the theme for our 2014 predictions.”


 

9.  On Their Way toward the Factory of the Future, 2014 will set the Stage for a New Manufacturing Renaissance

The manufacturing industry is back on track as a source of wealth in the Western World.  There will be challenges to overcome, however, as manufacturers face an aging workforce, the unattractiveness of plant floor workplaces, and the lack of skilled resources in the marketplace. 

During 2014, manufacturers will be busy making their factories more resilient and improving plant floor visibility.  The end goal is to make factories faster to align themselves with the speed of the marketplace.  According to Pierfrancesco Manent, in 2014 manufacturers will primarily invest in:

  • Standardizing production processes across their network of facilities
  • Better coordination of plant floor operations by collating all operational processes under a common orchestration approach

10.  Plant Floor IT Investments will continue to become a Higher Share of Overall Tech Investments

In 2014 and beyond, higher investments in plant floor IT will be very evident.  Specifically, most plant floor spending will be devoted to standardizing Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) platforms across the network of factories.  Conversely, there will be great interest but modest investment in emerging plant floor technologies in 2014.

Conclusion

To wrap up IDC’s Worldwide Manufacturing Predictions for 2014, here are some major trends to look for and to incorporate into your own business to stay competitive:

  • 2014 will see the emergence of a fully staffed technology group focused on line of business technology
  • A dual platform approach will be a logical path to 3D transformation
  • Supply chains will become “dynamically resilient”
  • Product decisions will calibrate enterprise innovation
  • The future factory is in sight and the impact is enormous
  • IT must be the lead integrator and look to optimize infrastructure and define core capabilities

 

About IDC Manufacturing Insights

IDC Manufacturing Insights assists manufacturing businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing asset intensive, brand oriented, technology oriented, and engineering oriented manufacturing industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit www.idc.com/manufacturing.

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