The pace of change among manufacturers had been increasingly significantly before the pandemic, said Lisa Anderson, president of Claremont, CA base LMA Consulting Group, which specializes in manufacturing and supply chain strategies.
It’s no surprise that Covid-19 disrupted manufacturing companies across the globe. Like nearly all industries, manufacturing had to quickly—and fundamentally— alter business operations in the wake of the pandemic. What is surprising is how deep and game-changing the impact was for manufacturers, as supply chains dried up and consumers radically shifted their buying behaviors for everything from toilet paper to sporting goods. Manufacturers quickly realized they needed better tools for accurately forecasting ongoing changes in customer demand and stabilizing supply sources.
Manufacturing executives are also seeing the need to address long-term trends, such as serving the growing demand for personalized products and services tailored for specific customer segments. The importance of product personalization comes through in a recent global survey of 1,091 business leaders from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services conducted in December 2020, which included 137 executives within the manufacturing industry. One-quarter (26%) of manufacturing executives say they are highly likely to invest in personalized products and services over the next 24 months to support their customer experience (CX) strategy.