Manufacturing Needs New Operational Models
With global manufacturing growth expected to remain slow, and in an uncertain economic world, companies need to consider new ways of working. This includes forging strategic partnerships. The remedies for slow-growing manufacturing include seeking new operating models, practicing aggressive hiring, developing smart partnerships and applying targeted investments. A new report from the London headquartered firm, titled "2017 Industrial Manufacturing Trends" takes stock of the state of the global economy, and suggests the manufacturing sector faces a tough time ahead unless reforms are put in place.
Strategic partnerships key
One of the strategies that manufacturing companies should consider, according to the report, is to enter into new strategic partnerships. These partnerships need to be 'smart' in that the companies that come together should not be in the position where they end up competing with each other for market share. Instead, the purpose of a smart partnership is to seek expertise outside the industry.
The primary type of partnership, PwC suggests, should be with a technology firm. This is in order to develop equipment connectivity, data analysis, and software of the sort that is beyond the manufacturer's current abilities. In many cases, this means an established manufacturing company working with an aggressive technology startup.
In terms of how such partnerships are working in the business world, one example is with Grundfos, a global leader in the design and manufacturing of pumps and systems. In order to introduce newer technology into its systems, Grundfos, began working with the new technology ANSYS, who design and develop simulation software.
The application of the software allowed Grundfos to harness the power of the Internet of Things. The risk of failure of industrial pumps can hit businesses hard; through the new partnership, Grundfos can support its clients by analyzing the performance of products under real-world operating conditions.
In a second example, Grabit, an industrial automation, and material handling company needed to better market its electroadhesion gripping technology. For this the company needed outside supply-chain solutions expertise. A partnership for Grabit was achieved with the company Flex Lab IX®. According to Charlie Duncheon, co-founder of Grabit Inc.: "Flex brings a wealth of manufacturing experience and supply chain solutions expertise to support our growth."
Manufacturing can maintain its competitiveness if it sets out to create new partnerships outside of its core specialty areas. Moreover, startups and corporations can both learn from each other. Manufacturing can think about becoming more lean and agile; and startups can learn more about running a more profitable, stable concern.
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