At the recent North American Manufacturing Excellence Summit, our team had the opportunity to meet with an abundance of manufacturing pros looking for ways to solve challenges facing the industry. From engaging conversations at our booth to thought-provoking discussion at a roundtable hosted by our own Christina Pierce, there was plenty of engagement and dialogue.
Here are three observations from what we at the event that will be key throughout the rest of the year:
1. Challenges still facing the industry show no signs of slowing
Manufacturers are still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including supply chain stoppages and shortages, the difficulty in training new talent, and worker retention. In addition, recent developments in Ukraine have led to lost resources, such as wheat, from Ukraine as well as companies pulling operations out of Russia, which has affected the global supply chain even more.
2. Appetite for digital transformation is growing
Our team had the privilege of speaking with all manner of manufacturers. A common takeaway is that digital transformation will accelerate, especially given the challenges currently at play. Opportunities to reduce overhead costs and supplement an inconsistent workforce through digitization have become increasingly attractive.
3. Interest in new ways to optimize material flow management
At a roundtable session hosted by Panasonic’s Christina Pierce, “Things to Consider when Implementing an IIoT Material Flow Solution,” participants learned actionable next steps to bring back to their organization. The discussion was full of back-and-forth and piqued curiosity about new technologies and techniques for optimizing material flow management, and it was exciting to see so many manufacturers interested in Industry 4.0.
As the industry continues to face headwinds from these challenges, it’s important to keep an eye on the future to get ahead of the curve. It’s clear that manufacturers increasingly recognize the need for digital transformation to enable this change – and now is the right time for the industry to move to implementation.
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