The manufacturing sector may be poised for a major breakthrough. New research conducted by Oxford Economics has identified a number of critical factors for transforming the manufacturing industry. According to this study, by changing their priorities and undergoing significant transformations, manufacturers may be able to dramatically improve their profits. However, achieving this goal may require the help of managed IT services companies.
The study, which included input from 300 executives around the world, determined that manufacturers are at a critical juncture today. More than two-thirds of participants predicted that their firms will see major business process transformations over the course of the next three years.
“The priority for manufacturers today is to make better things – creating innovative and distinct products and services that meet customer needs,” explained Lou Celi, president of Oxford Economics Americas. “True competitive advantage can only be achieved by tightly coupling the engineering, service planning and execution, management, and production processes…and by creating a closed feedback loop to ensure continual improvement and alignment across the business.”
Specifically, the study found that the three key transformative initiatives that manufacturers are likely to pursue in the coming years are adopting the service imperative, fostering innovation everywhere and rethinking strategy and planning. The research suggested that those firms able to successfully implement new, more effective tactics in these areas may experience significant revenue growth, allowing them to keep pace with, or even surpass, their competitors.
And while the Oxford study was global in its focus, these conclusions are equally applicable on a local level. Manufacturers of all sizes and in every region need to consider revitalizing a host of processes in order to meet demand and remain competitive.
Of course, these transformative initiatives represent major challenges. It is going to be extremely difficult for manufacturing firms, even the relatively flexible and adaptive ones, to successfully pursue all of these ventures while continuing to maintain other operations. Notably, manufacturers will likely struggle to manage their IT needs while undergoing such major transformations.
This is where managed IT services providers can provide real value. Often the case in manufacturing, the IT staff needs to focus on their industry specific software which may leave gaps. Managed IT service companies can bridge those gaps providing support on the often overlooked an mundane components (helpdesk, patch management, routine updates, etc.) as well as provide council on preparing the infrastructure for future demands/requirements. Without such outside advice and guidance, manufacturers may experience delays, inefficiencies and system failures which can undermine their broader improvement efforts.