By digitalizing operations, manufacturers not only can improve Lean processes but also lay the foundation for transforming their businesses.
Product volumes across many manufacturing industry sectors have steadily increased over the past 10 years, from the aerospace and defense industry’s 3% annual growth rate to the exponential rise in consumer demand for high-tech products. Meanwhile, the need to create a unique customer experience is driving new levels of product sophistication and customization across markets.
These forces are putting powerful new pressures on manufacturers to be more responsive, agile, and efficient. Responsive, because when the world is your market, so is your competition. If a manufacturer on the other side of the world can deliver days or even hours sooner than you can, the business can be lost. Responsiveness also applies to the ability to customize products on demand, which industrial and consumer buyers alike are coming to expect.
Agile, because in the face of changing global conditions, demands, and markets, companies must find ways to be more flexible. There is every reason to think this challenge will continue to increase.