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Industry Overview

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the automation and IoT disruptions challenging the manufacturing sector. Leaders need new insights to drive resilience, competitiveness, and growth.


Manufacturing is undergoing a wave of innovation that has only accelerated with the global pandemic.  Manufacturers are putting great effort in improving operational resilience, automation, and talent management.

Learning first-hand from manufacturing professionals and value chain leaders can make an enormous impact on competitive advantage and long-term growth. Manufacturers that have plans informed by qualitative and quantitative primary B2B research will be well prepared for the changed landscape ahead.




1. Navigating disruption and supply chain visibility

The Covid-19 pandemic showed manufacturers that a crisis affecting one city or country can have ripple effects on wide swaths of the global economy.  Manufacturers are focusing on building resilience into their global supply chains.  They’re trying to get better at predicting and mitigating events that can affect their operations, while also trying to reduce their dependence on suppliers from only one country or region.

But many difficult questions need to be answered. What alternative operations sites should manufacturers investigate? What scenarios they should plan for? Which trends and signals should they monitor?

How to de-risk manufacturing from supply chain disruptions?

To succeed in an increasingly connected world, manufacturers must understand global dynamics, optimize production systems and lead times, and identify fragile links in the supply chain. To do that, the need the insights from experts throughout their current and potential supply chain.

Furthermore, developing systems to spot trends and potential disruptions early will be critical to maintain a competitive advantage over their industry peers. Experts in other industries can be a valuable source of information on what early warning signs to look out for.


2. Digitization and automation of manufacturing

From robots to digitization of manufacturing to IoT (Internet of Things), technology advancements have shaped the manufacturing landscape over the past decades. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the need for change to compete in a highly competitive and dynamic environment. Many manufacturers had to dramatically change their product mix to adapt to the recession and supply-chain disruptions.

While technologies like machine learning and IoT have been rapidly implemented by consumer-facing sectors, many areas of manufacturing have been relatively conservative in implementing these technologies.  Manufacturers have many opportunities to unlock value and create impact for their companies.

What are best practices for technology adoption in manufacturing?

Manufacturing leaders can learn best-practices and key success factors from experts at similar companies who have implemented advanced technologies. Valuable learnings can also come from interviewing those who witnessed first-hand failed or underwhelming implementations, the likes of which are often ignored by vendors and trade publications. Finally, to understand from the best solution providers (IoT, robotics, ML) what it takes to successfully digitize and automate your manufacturing environment.


3. Workforce learning and retention

Digitization, automation, and technology in the manufacturing sector increase constantly. As a result, the manufacturing workforce will require new skills and training to stay competitive. But skills development takes on a new dimension in an era where not all in-person classes have to occur in-person. Active measures to retain manufacturing talent are also increasingly important, given the increased stress and feeling of isolation felt by many during the pandemic.

How to best train and retain manufacturing talent?

The best training and retention strategies for the manufacturing workforce are powered by insights on learning best practices and a deep understanding of why talent chooses one company over another. HR professionals in the manufacturing industry also need to learn what benefits and offerings competitors and partners are implementing to retain talent.

The best competitive defenses and strategies are powered by accurate insights and high-quality data. 

As the world’s leading B2B research company, NewtonX is the partner of choice for manufacturers seeking to not only survive, but to thrive and win in the post-Covid-19 economy.

Our proprietary, AI-driven NewtonX Knowledge Graph scans and verifies an open network of 1.1 billion professionals across 140 industries to find insights and answers to any business question. We go to every corner of the world to connect you with the right sources, delivering 100% verified professionals to give your thinking a flawless foundation.

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