By Peter Fisk
The future of manufacturing is more about science than production; built around specialist research and technical innovation, decentralized across the world, balancing focus and efficiency to manufacture on demand and to order.
Manufacturing has been through a turbulent decade – choked by economic crisis, challenged by global shifts in supply and demand, transformed through automation, redesigned through virtual ecosystems. Whilst the car-making heartland of Detroit lies in ruins, and the industrial heartlands of Europe are green again, manufacturing is on the rise. But in new places and with new models. It remains a driving force of both advanced and developing economies, a pathway from subsistence farming to material wealth.
Whilst the huge industrial complexes surrounding cities like Jakarta and Mumbai, Nairobi and Sao Paulo, signify productive nations, manufacturing has also reinvented itself in small and quiet ways. The factories of Seoul hum with the sound of high tech engineering, whilst 500 3D Hubs scattered across Amsterdam signify a maker city. Gone are the huge factories and workforces, smoking chimneys and hard hats. Manufacturing today is much more about science and technology, design and innovation.
Far from the stereotypes of long production lines, today’s manufacturing takes on a variety of different forms:
- Global makers – chemicals, transport, appliances – defining consistent quality and progress to their high volume categories, leveraging economies of scale, distributing them worldwide with global brands.
- Knowledge innovators – electronics, education, pharmaceuticals – driven by ideas and research, data and technology, their value is in intellectual property, with products often assembled under license.
- Regional processers – food and drink, printing, clothing – local companies or subsidiaries adding cultural relevance and speed of delivery to consumables, fast fashion, daily news, and local tastes.
However the blur of categories means that manufacturing is less of a sector, more of a process. Every product demands a wide range of services and support, delivered through many different related products and partners. The best way for a manufacturer to grow, sustainably and profitably, is to enhance their service experience, enabling customers to solve problems, standing out from competitors and adding new revenue streams.
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About the Author:
Peter Fisk is a business and innovation, brand and marketing expert. He is a bestselling author of six books, a keynote speaker, and experienced consultant and coach to business leaders around the world. He has been described by Business Strategy Review as “one of the best new business thinkers.”
Credit for excerpt:
Gamechangers: Creating Innovative Strategies for Business and Brands; New Approaches to Strategy, Innovation and Marketing
By Peter Fisk
Copyright © 2015 by Peter Fisk. Reprinted with permission of Wiley.
Published by: Wiley
December 2014; 314 pages; Paperback