Like with every new year, businesses are greeting 2014 with optimism and a new motivation for the coming year. As the industry continues to move forward several trends are appearing center stage for manufacturing. With some major changes in the national landscape and technology these trends will affect many aspects of the manufacturing and industrial market. Here are several predictions for the industry over the next 12 months.
- Expected growth in the auto industry. The Detroit area has always known that when all of the local businesses are dependent on one industry the economy can have difficulty recovering in light of catastrophic events. 2013 brought significant growth to the industry since the auto industry bailouts and this increased business will begin to affect suppliers in a positive way. Auto companies are expanding manufacturing to several other areas of the country including the South East.
- Mobile commerce will be more important in the industry moving forward. Our culture’s continued connectedness cannot be denied. Companies who will succeed know that all digital communications need to be optimized for mobile use. These will include emails and websites as well as a social media presence. Experts suggest keeping a watch on near field communications which allow smart phone users to exchange information easily. It is also important to enhance the customer experience by including things such as QR codes on products so information is readily available.
- Integrate artificial intelligence into your products. More and more products are able to interface with mobile aps and, in turn, create smart experiences for the end user. For example, in home security units that can turn off the lights or the faucet are starting to become not only possible but popular. Work with technology to build these convenient features directly into your products.
- Make use of 3D printing in your process. This new form of technology is quickly becoming very reliable and affordable. Imagine the savings when you can simply print out a component to use in your manufacturing process. Right now 3D printing is a touchstone in higher education but these individuals will eventually be at the top of the technological food chain when it comes to innovations.