According to an Industry Week article, recent predictions say we are headed into the year where technology gains critical mass! That is truly exciting for manufacturers as people and robots work in collaboration to achieve profitable growth and success. Of course, it isn’t all about robots but it provides a good visual for the conversation.
There are all sorts of technologies to consider including robots, collaborative robots, wearables, IoT, additive manufacturing, 5G, AI and more. By NO means should we jump on the next fad. Yet, we should be aware of these technologies, the progress of the technologies and be ready to take advantage of opportunities. Your smart competition will be! When technology gains critical mass, not only will your competition have the edge but it will accelerate the rate of progress. This means you will be left inching your way from the start gate when your competition passed you in the victory lap with profitable growth, superior customer experiences and happy employees. Are you considering your technological footprint?
What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Without a doubt, shift into high gear when it comes to getting educated on the technologies that support your industry and your supply chain partners. You do not need to throw bunches of money at this issue but gaining prudent proactive knowledge is a must. Understand your landscape and which technologies might provide an advantage in the marketplace. Be willing to invest in testing and trials.
Involve your team and extended supply chain partners in collaborating and brainstorming on win-win-win strategies to achieve key objectives. We live in a collaborative world. We need to see our partners as partners – not vendors and the competition. From this point-of-view, in my ProVisors group of trusted advisors, the most successful members believe in referring business they could do themselves if they think it is slightly better off with their competitor. It is counter intuitive and ends up turning 1 + 1 into 4 with more business for all. The same will hold true with your supply chain partners. With that said, being collaborative is not an excuse to be negligent. You have to watch out for cyber security and a host of other issues that could arise.
At a minimum, re-evaluate your technology roadmap. Remember, this is identical to strategy in 2020. A strategy looking 5 years out is pointless, even a year out is suspect. Instead, you need a roadmap of guidelines with the flexibility to be resilient and the attentiveness to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. In essence, future-proof your manufacturing organization and extended supply chain.