Technology Powers U.S. Manufacturing Renaissance
The impact of powerful forces such as digital transformation, Industry 4.0, the current regulatory climate, and automation on U.S. manufacturers is the focus of a new research report from ECi Software Solutions. The findings indicate the role technology is playing in the U.S. manufacturing resurgence, with 89 percent of respondents confirming they had increased technology investments in the past 18 months.
Other key findings:
Manufacturers turn to ERP to manage tariffs: 67 percent of respondents confirm that Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is either very effective or effective in managing the impact of tariffs, particularly by providing supply chain visibility, resource planning, and job costing.
Wearables have the potential to drive the most business value: In a similar survey conducted by ECi's Macola Software in 2017, manufacturers indicated that big data analytics had the highest potential to drive business value, while this year's respondents put wearables at the top.
AI is more than just a buzzword: More than half of 2018 respondents indicate that they're currently using some form of artificial intelligence (AI) in their operations; of those who don't use AI, 56 percent plan to in the future.
Automation is a job augmenter, rather than a job cutter: 73 percent of respondents indicate that their core business processes are automated by software and are reaping the benefits—most notably by reducing errors and improving accuracy, employee job satisfaction, and productivity.
Cybersecurity concerns prevent technology adoption: Half of manufacturers say they are concerned with the cybersecurity risks associated with adopting a new technology; they also list cybercrime as a top external force contributing to changes in manufacturers' business models or operations in the past 12 to 18 months.