Businesses in the manufacturing industry need to stay ahead of their competition in the global marketplace. Manufacturers of every size and shape are changing rapidly because of new digital technologies, new competitors, new ecosystems, and new ways of doing business. The following tips will help manufacturing companies stay ahead in 2018 and beyond.

  1. Be on Top Of Technology

Your team won’t be able to pull away from the competition without the most relevant technology such as Artificial Intelligence. Artificial intelligence is the process by which intelligent computer systems perform tasks unaided by humans. It is among the leading technologies that are transforming manufacturing.

Also, technology that helps your team collaborate cohesively is vital to stay relevant in manufacturing. Slack is an instant messaging and collaboration system on steroids. Slack’s channels help your team to focus by enabling them to separate messages, discussions, and notifications by purpose, department, or topic.

In 2018, be aware that manufacturing software apps will make significant improvements in their user interface designs to retain existing customers and gain new ones. The software is going to become more usable, flexible, and configurable to your needs.

  1. Keep Up Employee Training

Manufacturing requires a high level of technical proficiency and encompasses a wide range of competencies. The manufacturing industry is currently witnessing the retirement of the largest percentage of its workforce. There is an increasing lack of skill and technical knowledge of new workers. Make education and growth part of your company culture. Training and mentorship programs and video classes will be highly beneficial to your employees.

Investing in your employees lets them know you are committed to developing their skills. This will reduce employee turnover, as they will feel like a valued member of your business.

  1. It’s All About The Data

Manufacturing is becoming smarter and more data-driven, especially when it comes to analyzing the competition. Vast sets of data can be captured and thoroughly examined to obtain actionable insights to help your company find its place in the marketplace. Data will help you analyze where your business is struggling to close a sale, and how to engage with your customers more efficiently.

In 2018, you can also expect real-time monitoring and predictive analytics in the manufacturing industry.

  1. Understand Trends in Global Competition

The United States is set to overtake China as the top country for “manufacturing competitiveness” by 2020, according to research from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness. Even though American workers earn 11 times more than its Chinese counterparts, America is continually proving to be more innovative in its manufacturing.

Over the next five years, factories in America will become smarter and more digitally integrated. Industry leaders are projected to pay higher wages to employees to reap the benefits of America’s innovation.

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