Manufacturers & Distributors

Manufacturing Technology Trends

Posted on March 30, 2021 by

Jim Biehl

Jim Biehl

Elly Mioduszewski

Elly Mioduszewski

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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.

New Manufacturing Technology

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.

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Jim Biehl

Shareholder, Manufacturing & Distribution

Leading the firm’s manufacturing & distribution group, Jim has built a reputation for providing strategic tax, accounting and operational support to owners.

Elly Mioduszewski

Senior Manager, Consulting

Elly is an integral member of the firm's digital advisory group, helping owners leverage data analytics and improve their business processes.

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