A recent report from IDC Manufacturing Insights, Business Strategy: The Journey Toward the People-Intensive Factory of the Future, may provide some insight into what manufacturers are hoping to do to offset challenging economic conditions and market complexity – and how distributors can help them get there.
The report looked at how manufacturers view the “factory of the future.” More than 43 percent of respondents to the survey have a formal process in place to design future production plants.
Some of the key results include:
- For more than 56 percent, the factory of the future will be measured by its product capability and flexibility, not just efficiency and capacity.
- In five years, 47 percent of manufacturers will produce modular platforms centrally while using local small factories, suppliers and distributors to tailor final products for local demand.
- Nearly 64 percent expect their production processes to be largely or completely digitized in the next five years; to that end more than 26 percent of manufacturers plan to invest more than 25 percent of their total ICT budget for plant-floor IT.
For distributors whose main customer base is comprised of manufacturers, understanding what the “factory of the future” looks like could be a critical piece of adding value to those relationships going forward.
Read more about the importance of thinking like customers to serve them better in the latest Management Tip of the Week.