On-Demand Manufacturing Powers Up
April 29, 2021
manufacturing and supply chains were severely disrupted by the COVID-19 global
pandemic, forcing companies to adapt and plan for a new business reality. The
newly released 2021 State of Manufacturing Report from Fictiv reveals an
industry that is already quickly rebounding with investments in digital
transformation aimed at improving speed, resilience and sustainability. While
areas of concern persist, most report that lessons from the pandemic have paved
the way for new innovations.
“The overriding takeaway from this year’s report is that the pandemic served as
a catalyst to turn emerging digital ideas into strategies that are now
irrevocably changing supply chains,” said Fictiv CEO Dave Evans. “Companies
moved quickly and decisively to solve short term problems but recognized that
the limitations of their current supply chains required long-term investment and
innovation. Looking ahead, industry leaders are nearly unanimous in their
expectations that those digital investments will help them build faster,
greener, and more resilient supply chains.”
55% report that workforce training is the number one barrier to increasing their US-based manufacturing footprint, followed by cost (43%), insufficient capacity (36%), and lack of access to needed technologies compared to global suppliers (31%);
Only 10% of survey respondents report they see no barriers to manufacturing in the US.
Supply Chain Concerns Stifle Innovation
Internally, 45% report that rigid internal processes hamper their team’s ability to innovate;
Moreover, 97% of companies report that supply chain management consumes a significant amount of employees’ time;
Eighty-one percent (81%) report that quality issues in their supply chain have resulted in cost overruns in the past year;
Fifty-five percent (55%) report that their existing supply chain presents IT security risks and 42% report concerns around IP protection risks.
Forty-four percent (44%) report difficulty hiring manufacturing talent with the necessary digital expertise;
Ninety-five percent (95%) of companies agree that expert guidance around manufacturing feasibility for new product innovations would be of great benefit.
The top three advantages were reported as improved quality (62%), transparency (61%), and speed (60%).
“The pandemic also served as a proving ground for new ideas,” said Fictiv COO Jean Olivieri. “A super majority of those polled said that their comfort level with work from home influenced their positive attitudes towards flexible manufacturing arrangements. With 84% having used on-demand manufacturing solutions over the past year, it’s obvious the industry is becoming less reliant on the ownership of physical spaces and wholly owned processes.”