Manufacturers & Distributors

5 Emerging Technologies for Manufacturing

Posted on March 30, 2021 by

Jim Biehl

Jim Biehl

Elly Mioduszewski

Elly Mioduszewski

Share This

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Today’s leading manufacturers are not simply product innovators, but technology innovators. For most of the industry, the days of separate and siloed machines are long gone. Replacing it is often a vast network of chips, sensors, and data that communicates across the facility floor and to cloud-based networks on or off-site.

The fast pace of change, an increasingly competitive industry, and a more globalized society mean even a business that remains technologically static could actually be falling behind. Many technology experts still believe that computer processing capability doubles approximately every two years — and as much as 90% of the world’s data has been produced in the last two years. Taken together, every day you don’t invest in emerging technology is another day your competition gains ground.

Here are five fast-growing, popular technologies that are impacting manufacturers today. Each could be a benefit to how your business produces a product, connects with new customers, secures its data or communicates internally and externally. Which one will make or break your company’s future success?

1. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems

Enterprise resource planning systems (ERP for short) is a technology that helps integrate all aspects of your business. Usually referring to a catalog of business management software, ERP allows you to collect, store, manage and interpret data while tracking business resources and keeping an eye on all points along your product’s supply chain.

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence can be a deciding factor for how quickly your business can jump the competition. By incorporating computer systems into the existing manufacturing process, your machines can perform tasks previously requiring human skills and knowledge. AI technology trains your facility to learn, self-correct, and improve — all while removing human error and maximizing human talent.

3. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Your business can use robotic process automation or RPA to assist with completing tasks more efficiently. Unlike other technologies such as artificial intelligence that often displace or augment labor, RPA is most often adapted to emulate the actions of a human workforce and automate specific business processes to work in concert with people.

4. Blockchain

Blockchain is a digital ledger shared across a participating network. Unlike traditional data storage, each transaction is stored as a block which is approved and then linked chronologically with the transactions made before and after it. Once approved, it becomes a permanent record accessible to all authorized to view it. Manufacturers can use the technology to store legal contracts, track product inventory, and monitor movement along the supply chain.

5. Increased Technology = Increased Risk

Whether it is ransomware, spyware, phishing, or an unintended data breach, manufacturing’s growing dependence on technology also leaves it vulnerable to technology-based attacks. What can you do to stay in business even as online criminals look for a way in? This is where cybersecurity comes into play. Investing in top-of-the-line security can keep your business safe while providing your team with peace of mind.

Contact Us

Follow us to learn more about these emerging technologies and how they can help unlock new opportunities for manufacturers in 2021 and beyond. If you have questions about leveraging these technologies in your business, we can help. For additional information, call us at 248.208.8660 or reach out today. We look forward to connecting.

Jim Biehl


As the leader of the firm’s manufacturing & distribution team Jim is known for his engaged & energetic approach and deep industry knowledge.

Elly Mioduszewski


Elly brings Big 4 experience and a background in both accounting and technology to the firm’s digital advisory team. She is known for being process-oriented & poised.

Related Insights

Manufacturers & Distributors

Women & Manufacturing: 3 Success Strategies

Posted on May 12, 2022 by

Katie Blake
Competition for talent is heating up as job growth edges the country closer to full employment. Adding to conventional market pressures, fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is raising crucial questions about the future of work. Employers are having to rethink their assumptions about how to attract and retain an engaged workforce. 

Manufacturers & Distributors

Tech Innovations Driving M&D Industry Growth

Posted on April 19, 2022 by

Rob Cheyne
Technologies like augmented reality (AR) are no longer just for games like Pokémon Go—businesses across almost every industry including manufacturing have found ways to increase their productivity with new technologies such as robotics, AR, virtual reality (VR), data visualization, and remote monitoring. While these kinds of innovations require an initial investment, they unquestionably pay off to increase ROI.

Manufacturers & Distributors

Michigan Manufacturers: Talent Funding

Posted on October 21, 2021 by

Jim Biehl
In talking with manufacturers, we know that talent is a top issue. If you’re a manufacturer in Michigan seeking assistance with talent retention, you don’t want to miss out on applying for the Going PRO Talent Fund. This fund is designed to help employers with training, developing and retaining employees.

Sign up for our newsletters

Get general business and industry-specific news and knowledge straight from our accounting specialists.

The Sound of Automation Podcast

The Sound of Automation Podcast

Industrial automation businesses are the driving force behind Industry 4.0, and Clayton & McKervey is here to help.

Insights & Perspectives

The Sound of Automation: Looking ahead to CSIA 2022

In this episode we talk with Lisa Richter, Director of Industry Outreach and Growth at Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) . Lisa and Bryan look ahead to the CSIA Executive conference taking place in Denver, CO on June 27-30, 2022 and share with listeners what to expect, who will be there, and the discussion panel topics focusing on this years’ theme “The Future of Work”. 

Read More

The Sound of Automation Podcast

Industrial automation businesses are the driving force behind Industry 4.0, and Clayton & McKervey is here to help.

Skip to content