Forecasting Manufacturing Trends For 2016

Booz Allen believes that 2016 will be a crucial time for high-tech manufacturing. To examine how the industry might fare, the company has compiled a list of trends for 2016.

Booz Allen believes that 2016 will be a crucial time for high-tech manufacturing. To examine how the industry might fare, the company has compiled a list of trends for 2016.

The increased presence of connectivity is forcing companies to focus more on the development of quality of life-enhancing services, and less on pushing out as much product as possible, according to Sedar LaBarre. To accomplish this, LaBarre said the performance of high-tech manufacturing is reliant upon the creation of customized products and services that keep the customer happy.

“As the traditional manufacturing boundaries break down, those companies that best define and prove their value to customers will be best positioned to thrive in disruption,” LaBarre said in a press release.

As the industry changes, Booz Allen’s experts have identified five trends within high-tech manufacturing for the next year.

Advanced analytics will be further involved in everyday manufacturing operations—the workplace will become more efficient and safer due to the digitalization of assets. High-tech manufacturers will be able to improve their inventory due to the information presented by both supply chain and operations data.

The role of robots within the industry will also expand as companies begin to use the increasingly capable technology to make operations more efficient. (Google, Amazon, and eBay are examples of companies that have already brought more robotics to their warehouse for this purpose.) One aspect of business that robotics will enhance is delivery time.

“We will see companies cultivate a synchronized ecosystem for the earliest design phase of the product all the way through to ongoing services,” Booz Allen added.

Forward-thing companies will attempt to change how the public perceives them by stressing how innovative the industry has been—with its impact on IoT being a prime example. Using the new image, companies will attempt to bring in the talented workers that have generally gravitated toward Silicon Valley. Companies will start operations on the West Coast and create STEM partnerships with secondary educational institutions, all with the hope of enticing talented minds.

Speaking of IoT, connected technology is undeniably vulnerable to hacking. To gain the trust of customers, companies will have to show they are being actively pursuing improvements in privacy and security. When a cyber-attack does occur, companies will also have to demonstrate a propensity for responding in a timely manner. Security must be enhanced during the design, production, sourcing, and distribution phases, and even after the purchase is made.

Lastly, to keep up with competitors, companies will become more efficient with their factory floor space and time to ensure that they can expedite the delivery of their products. They will also work to provide updates and fixes to products almost immediately. To accomplish these fixes, companies will rely on customer feedback provided by product sensors and on social media. High-tech manufactures of all sizes will incorporate these techniques.