In today’s marketplace, manufacturers who embrace technology have a competitive advantage over those who do not. Technology has shown it can enable small and mid-sized manufacturers to produce higher quality products, at a lower cost, in a more efficient way.
Additive Manufacturing (commonly referred to as 3D printing) could prove to be the most important new technology trend in the industry in 2017. New advancements in this technology, coupled with price decreases, have made this an area every manufacturer must consider.
While most manufacturers are aware of 3D printing, employers should look also look into two other emerging trends:
- Nanotechnology: This cutting-edge tech deals with dimensions and tolerances less than 100 nanometers. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter! This technology has evolved from use in aerospace and biomedical field to producing lightweight, stronger material across all manufacturing sectors. As an added incentive, this technology is proving to be more cost efficient through energy savings and waste reduction.
- Next-Gen Robotics: Like all technology, robotics are becoming smarter, faster, and cheaper over time. Advances are allowing robots with more “human” characteristics, such as dexterity and machine learning, to assist their human counterparts on the facility floor in ways never before imagined.
Technology advances hold the promise of a competitive advantage, yet only companies with a firm IT foundation will be able to achieve it. Throw away the belief of technology as a necessary evil. By welcoming these new trends into your business with open arms, your business can reinvent itself for the next generation.
A solid IT infrastructure is an often neglected, but essential component of a comprehensive growth strategy. Begin by assessing the current state of your systems:
- Evaluate the usefulness of your hardware, software and processes. How are they contributing or detracting from your company’s objectives?
- Assess your existing cyber security strategy. How comprehensive is it? Every company should expect to be breached at some point. You can mitigate the damage through enhanced and proactive cyber security solutions. With 60 percent of small and mid-sized manufacturers closing their doors within six months of a breach, planning ahead could make all the difference for your business and employees.
Make 2017 the year to reexamine your IT infrastructure and firm up the foundation. Connect with a qualified technology partner and take the first step toward achieving the competitive advantages technology can bring.