3 Key Trends Transforming Manufacturing

In a previous post, Market Shifts and New Technology Spell Change for Manufacturers, I wrote about the external market shifts and technological changes that are reshaping the competitive landscape for manufacturing firms.

Not surprisingly, as market and technological forces usher in a new era of manufacturing and economic opportunity, strategic transformation has become a necessity. Over two-thirds (68 percent) of manufacturing firms are expected to undergo significant business process transformation over the next three years.

These findings emerge from a groundbreaking new global study of 300 manufacturing executives, conducted by Oxford Economics and PTC.

Analyzing the survey data and a series of related interviews with market leaders uncovers how manufacturers are transforming their businesses to succeed in the new global landscape. The study finds that successful transformation initiatives are grounded by three broad themes:

  • Rethinking strategy and planning eclipses pure manufacturing operational excellence as the source of competitive differentiation. One example is enhanced coordination of strategy and planning between engineering and service organizations, which will rise from 54 percent today to 73 percent in the next three years.
  • The service imperative extends service beyond repair and maintenance to become a key differentiator and profit driver in its own right. Survey data shows that 82 percent of manufacturers in Europe will enhance services as a key way to differentiate their products, more than those in the United States (67 percent) and Asia (66 percent).
  • Innovation everywhere, and expansion beyond traditional product R&D to capture insights from all parts of the enterprise ecosystem. One emerging source of insight for manufacturers is smart, software-intensive, networked products with sensors, which will see a 38 percent growth over the next three years, to 53 percent.

The nuances of these findings across industries, geographies, company size, and business functions will be detailed in the coming report: Manufacturing Transformation.

The findings of the study will first be presented in June at PTC Live Global 2013 in Anaheim, California. The full report will be available for download this summer.

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