There’s been a lot of talk about Smart Manufacturing over the past few years, and how its various technologies can help improve the status quo for manufacturers globally that are struggling amid a sea of challenges.
Supply chain disruptions continue to add uncertainty, as does the reality of the looming skills gap that shows no signs of shrinking but, in fact, continues to widen. The skills gap in the U.S. alone is costing the economy $13 billion per month, and Deloitte predicts that number will sadly grow to an estimated $2.5 trillion over the next decade. For many smaller manufacturers that are located in rural areas in the U.S. with very small labor pools, the issues are even more profound.
While manufacturers themselves can do little to mitigate these industry-wide problems, they can embrace the technologies that enable them to do more with less, such as robotics and automation.
Taking steps towards Smart Manufacturing initiatives today, even if slow and in incremental steps, can help manufacturers of all sizes increase agility, efficiency, accuracy, and reduce downtime to be more competitive and profitable.
Many smaller manufacturers, however, have yet to implement Smart Manufacturing as many perceive that it will entail radical change and disruption to their operations, as well as a steep investment. By taking Smart Manufacturing one step at a time, however, the benefits can be realized by companies of all sizes.
While it will, of course, take an initial investment to get started, this investment will prove to be a fraction of the cost that’s been experienced due to downtime, low quality, and inefficient manufacturing.
There are several reasons why smaller manufacturers should start smart manufacturing initiatives:
- Increased efficiency. Improve production processes, reduce waste, and increase efficiency, which can ultimately lead to cost savings and increased competitiveness.
- Better quality control. Ensure consistent product quality by providing real-time data and analytics that enable them to identify and address quality issues more quickly and accurately.
- Improved agility: Respond more quickly to changes in demand or market conditions by providing greater flexibility in their production processes and supply chains.
- Enhanced customer experience: Offer more personalized and customized products and services, which can improve the overall customer experience and increase customer loyalty.
- Competitive advantage: By adopting smart manufacturing technologies early on, smaller manufacturers can gain a competitive advantage over larger, less nimble competitors.
Overall, smart manufacturing initiatives can provide smaller manufacturers with the tools they need to optimize their production processes, reduce costs, and stay ahead of the competition.
Do you want to learn more about how you can get start on your Smart Manufacturing journey? Download Three Key Steps to Start Your Smart Manufacturing Journey eBook to learn how a Smart Manufacturing strategy enables small to midsized manufacturers to optimize production and maintenance of machinery; make crucial decisions faster with 24/7 access to real-time, shop floor data, and Increase agility, accuracy and efficiency. Click on the banner below to learn more about how you can start your Smart Manufacturing initiative today.
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