Whether we like it or not, globalization has been a major factor in the staying power of many manufacturers. The practice of scattering production, jobs and plants across the globe has delivered great benefits to the consumer and the manufacturer. Companies have been able to squeeze as much efficiency as possible from the products they make so that what we desire is affordable and readily available.
Yet with the growing costs and challenges associated with the global market, these organizations are looking for new sources of competitive advantage.
The global manufacturing industry is in the midst of a fundamental transformation — having to rethink everything from how products are conceived, designed and sourced to how they are produced, sold and serviced. In fact, according to a recent study done by Oxford Economics, a global forecasting and quantitative analysis firm, 68 percent of 300 manufacturers surveyed expect to undergo major business transformation in the next three years, with 43 percent rating strategy and planning for products as a top factor for driving business success — rating this more important than operational execution.
What is this force driving change? To be certain, it’s not just one, but a confluence of factors changing the manufacturing landscape. Digitization, personalization, “smart” products, connectivity, and servitization are some key drivers, and globalization and regulation continue to drive manufacturing businesses, but in new ways. Anyone using PLM needs to understand these forces driving manufacturing and take them into consideration when implementing a PLM strategy.