Upcoming Changes and Predictions for the Manufacturing Industry in the Next Five Years

The year 2020 was a tumultuous year for jobs, the economy, and industries as the world struggled to cope with the impact of COVID-19 on business and daily life. However, there’re reasons to be optimistic about the future, particularly if we are talking about the manufacturing industry.

Manufacturing trends

photo credit: Alex Freeman / Pixabay

Despite over 60% of manufacturing companies feeling the impact of coronavirus on their operations, a recent study showed that most manufacturing companies had modest growth in revenue during the pandemic. Not only that, but evidence suggests that demand for products has never been higher.

Over the next few years, we expect to see a number of changes in the manufacturing industry. Here are some upcoming changes and predictions we expect to see in the manufacturing industry over the next five years.

1. Sustainability

Sustainability is likely to become a core selling point over the next few years. Manufacturing is well known as being one of the main contributors to environmental pollution. With a new administration that prioritizes the environment and science, we expect to see manufacturing companies trying to make their processes more sustainable. They will do this by creating more sustainable factories and cutting back on the high volume of waste they produce.

2. Manufacturers Will Respond to High Expectations from Customers

Over the last few months, demand for products has surged. Thanks to this, manufacturers are under pressure to produce high-quality products quicker, cheaper, and more efficiently than ever before. One-way manufacturers can improve the quality of their products is by using custom metal fabrication. This type of fabrication not only increases product performance and reduces product development cycles, but it can also reduce costs for the business too.

As well as shopping behaviors, we will also see a change in relationships between customers and businesses. In general, customer service has made some huge leaps over the last year, with companies prioritizing radical transparency, personalized experiences, and rapid response. Customers have got used to this type of service and will expect it to continue in the future.

As a result, we expect to see more manufacturers embracing high mix/low volume manufacturing. This is a complete change from the mass production that has long been popular in this industry. We should also see a greater focus on data-driven experiences and insights.

3. Manufacturers Will Change to Localized Production

There is a high possibility that the manufacturing industry will shift to localized production in the coming months and years. One of the main reasons for this is because of the possibility of current trade-war/tariffs threatening global supply chains. Some of the other reasons that manufacturers will do this include:

  • Lower working capital
  • Faster time to market
  • Increased resiliency
  • Government policies

While this will not be an easy change for businesses, the difficulties of the last year have created more importance in adopting this type of production.

Even a year ago, change in the manufacturing industry was driven by a huge range of motivating factors and different trends. Now, however, companies all have the same priority: to outlast the COVID-19 pandemic and maintain continuity of operations. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the manufacturing industry for the better, and the pandemic is likely to continue impacting this industry for many years to come.a hr


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