The Future of UK Manufacturing
If your business is currently immobilised by the lockdown, you might be thinking that now would be the perfect time to brush up on areas of your business that are often left a little overlooked.
Continuing to use your time as productively as possible during the lockdown will give you an advantage over your competition, but if you’re thinking about getting up to speed with the manufacturing landscape at large – the confusion and difficulties currently faced by the industry might be making it difficult to discern what the future might hold.
Despite this, we’re going to be providing you with words from the experts and plenty of established resources from which you can draw your thoughts and plan ahead.
Thoughts from SAGE
Published by SAGE, this intellectual white paper comes from the co-founder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology Smart Customization Group. In the paper, various surveys have been undertaken to help manufacturers to understand what could help their company to succeed, and how the biggest names have continued to stay at the top.
To summarise the main points of the paper, manufacturing companies should be thinking about how they can improve their Sharing, Vision, Flexibility and Optimisation strategies. These values call for businesses to think about how they can benefit from being more open about their technologies, to think outside of making changes only for operational efficiency, and to train employees to question current business processes and put forward solutions and ideas for improvement.
These tips may sound familiar, but the difference with this paper is that it requests that the manufacturing industry starts to take these suggestions more seriously than previously recommended. More drastic changes need to be made for the industry to evolve, and you can better understand how to implement these new types of thinking into your business by reading the paper.
You can download the Annual Manufacturing Report of 2020 here.
Changes in UK Manufacturing
Those businesses that are currently attempting to revolutionise their shop floors are looking into cutting edge types of machinery and training. By training the factory floor to think like a designer might, they will be able to better understand the machines they work so closely with and therefore be able to identify where certain processes could be improved.
At an equipment level, one might consider how AI is changing the nature of manufacturing to be more efficient, too. More than just efficiency, however, a talented businessperson would consider the effect that installing an AI system is going to have on their staff, and how they can make the most of these changes to retrain staff and create new roles within the company.
Servitised Business Models
One of the most important concepts in manufacturing currently revolves around creating a servitised business model, and over 78% of polled UK businesses believe they have correctly adopted this idea, or are in the process of doing so (PWC).
This means adopting a plan that puts your service first. The Telegraph explained the concepts behind the model in 2018 as:
- ‘Changing the ways that customers buy, and vendors sell’.
- ‘A shift from selling products, to offering services wrapped around the products’.
- Using the Internet of Things to improve products.
An example of how one industry has evolved to use the IoT would be the domestic printing manufacturing industry. It is now quite common for individuals to buy printers which come with services dependent on the IoT. For example, when the printer runs out of ink, the printer recognises this and automatically buys the owner a new set of ink cartridges – this is how services are being sold alongside products in the modern world, and this kind of thinking can be applied to various household items as has been shown by the wave of Smart technology and lighting currently in production.
Adopting this type of thinking for your product will be a complex process, but it is becoming more apparent that those businesses who fail to adjust to the growing Smart demands of their customers are likely going to get left behind.
This is a fantastic time for innovation in manufacturing, but patience and diligence will be required for your company to succeed. During these uncertain times, it is now more important than ever for you to assess how the needs of your clientele are changing, and how you can improve your company to accommodate these needs and profit from them.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, the article states that the British manufacturing scene is in a good position, ahead of Europe, Australia and the US. This means that this is a good business to be working in currently.
As our everyday devices are becoming more complex and electronic, our services as spring manufacturers have never been more key. Speak to us today about how we can help your company to developed its latest product.