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These years of pandemic that we have gone through during 2020 and 2021 have left us a time where digital transformation has evolved by leaps and bounds, in order to adapt businesses and industry to the new needs of the market.
2022 already suggests what the trends in industrial manufacturing will be. We share what we at Pinexports consider the most important on which to focus efforts for this year.
Paradigm shift, from international manufacturing to national manufacturing
In recent years, domestic manufacturing has gradually boomed in a number of sectors. However, until two years ago the industrial sector had increasingly turned to offshoring of intermediate consumption, both manufacturing and services. Now it seems that something is changing.
The situation that the pandemic has left in terms of the increase in prices in the supply chain, as well as in raw materials, has led the manufacturing industry to rethink the return to national production in terms of intermediate consumption. Which leads us to talk about another trend, industrial digitization.
Industrial digitization, IoT and industry 4.0
Despite the fact that in the industrial landscape we have been talking about digital transformation, Iot and Industry 4.0 since almost 2011, until before the pandemic, only large companies had allowed themselves the introduction of processes, software, hardware or training of talent related to industry 4.0.
However, the pandemic has made it clear that "necessity obliges" and has accelerated digitization processes in the Industrial landscape by leaps and bounds.
The Spanish industry has seen the need to increase its competitiveness and internationalization as well as investment in R&D, new technologies and the training of human capital.
This last point is perhaps one of the most important, since this drastic change in the last 2 years in the way of working, added to the international hyper-competition against which Spain competes in comparison with the Asian giant, for example, makes companies not only compete for market share or prices, but also for employees who can secure their future in a digitized world.
At this point, the ambitious Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR), endowed with European funds from the NGEU, represents an opportunity, not only to stimulate the recovery of the industry, but also to transform the productive fabric.
This advance leads us directly to thinking about the next trend, Everything as a service.
Everything-as-a-service vs Software-as-a-Service
The SaaS or ScuS in Spanish, is a software distribution model where the software and the data it handles are hosted on servers of an ICT company, which are accessed online from a client. This model has only been the beginning.
Everything-as-a-service enables the democratization of data and technology. In recent years, an entire industry has emerged that aims to put the skills and tools necessary for innovation in the hands of as much of society as possible, regardless of their experience or knowledge.
Today, mass production is becoming increasingly inefficient, changing “we sell what we make” to “we make what we sell”. This new model forces manufacturers to become more agile and flexible in their processes.
Production and supply chains are entering the digital sphere with new products and services that involve various technologies such as RFID, WLAN, video or location.
These technologies and the different types of data they offer are unified and accessible through a wide variety of applications and devices, since the physical and digital world is becoming more connected every day thanks to the IoT.
Right now, the IoT is still a mystery or even an impenetrable jungle for many of them. Innovation has been restricted, as we mentioned before, by the talent crisis. In this regard, demand has appeared much earlier than supply.
However, it is worth investing in IoT. It connects manufacturers with their suppliers, customers and their own staff, as well as with machines and materials throughout the entire production chain, providing real-time visibility into all business operations and processes.
It helps manufacturers improve and expand their services by allowing them to respond to demands quickly, thereby ensuring customer loyalty.
Businesses using the IoT will be able to benefit from the transformation of services and the everything-as-a-service trend. In addition, IoT platforms offer the necessary infrastructure to process and integrate a large amount of data and reduce the complexity of the processes coming from, for example, the mass individualization of products.
Finally, business models are improved and strengthened due to increased productivity and reduced costs, for example through predictive maintenance and less production stoppage.
Innovation in Supply Chain
This point has been directly influenced by the pandemic. Today, the investment objective of companies in the manufacturing industry is to invest in resilience and risk reduction for the supply chain and expand the supply of resources to improve flexibility.
Industry 4.0, more specifically the IoT, is the key to achieving these flexibility goals.
It is necessary to prioritize the flow of information throughout the chain as it will allow the manufacturing industry to improve reaction speed and collaborate with other sectors.
At this point, we see that the IoT is directly or indirectly present in all aspects related to the manufacturing industry, so if there were any doubts about where to start, this is probably the winning bet.
From PINEXPORTS we hope that these trends help your business to successfully finish 2021 and get ahead of the competition in 2022.
We have taken this IoT and EaaS thing very seriously, and soon we will present our Exhale platform, which will revolutionize the logistics sector and help designers, distributors and stockists to significantly simplify their production processes, ensuring that internationalization does not imply an extra cost that is not worth exposing itself to.
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