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Top 10 Worldwide Manufacturing Predictions 2014: No. 3 & 4

IDC Manufacturing Insights provides organizations with insight and perspective on long-term industry trends along with new themes that may be on the horizon.  Today's predictions focus on your supply chain.

IDC Manufacturing Insights hosted a web conference “IDC Manufacturing Insights Predictions 2014: Worldwide Manufacturing” highlighting the Top 10 predictions for the year ahead. Featuring analysts Robert Parker, Heather Ashton, Sheila Brennan, Simon Ellis, Kimberly Knickle, Pierfrancesco Manenti, and Amy Rowell, the session provided organizations with insight and perspective on long-term industry trends along with new themes that may be on the horizon. The Predictions web conference series is designed to help company leaders capitalize on emerging market opportunities and plan for future growth.

“The manufacturing industry has an established track record of continuously improving productivity and is at the cusp of a new wave of gains that will dramatically restructure value chains to be closer to demand regardless of direct labor costs,” says Robert Parker, group vice president and general manager of IDC Manufacturing Insights. “This is being driven by an intelligent economy where customers are more informed, talent is at a premium and the time to react to changes is compressed.

“In 2014, companies should put together a set of business initiatives across critical line of business areas such as supply chain, factory operations, product management, and customer experience/aftermarket services, and follow a progression toward the principles of the 3D value chain, the theme for our 2014 predictions.”

Join us daily this week as we reveal all Top 10 predictions for the year ahead, by category. Check the links below for previous predictions.

Simon Ellis, Practice Director, IDC Manufacturing Insights, Supply Chain Predictions 

3.  Operational Resiliency will be the Focus of Supply Chain Strategies

In 2014, manufacturers will have access to massive amounts of data and will have to deal with varying effectiveness of incorporating this data. They will need to:

  • Further develop a “demand orientation” through demand sensing and capture
  • Increase clarity around key purpose and focus through product and service segmentation
  • More deeply integrate planning and execution functions
  • Proved supply and operational visibility

There will be a focus on digital execution to leverage data in order to broaden and extend supply chain intelligence. “What do I know, what don’t I know, and how do I expand the intelligence of my supply chain in the context of resiliency? Resiliency is not just about reacting, it’s about anticipating,” says Simon Ellis, Practice Director at IDC. 

Also expect B2B Commerce Networks to become “anthropological dig sites” for a wealth of data assets. Manufacturers will seek new ways to extract data-driven value, leveraging mobile and cloud for access anywhere at any time. 

4.  Supply Chain Technology Investment will Involve Modernizing Existing Systems while Trying New Approaches

Businesses will develop faster and more integrated planning, both in terms of better linkages to demand signals and deeper scenario planning. There will also be broader adoption of cloud-based tools for edge applications like transportation management, and also in key orchestrating capabilities like sales and operating planning. According to Ellis, “manufacturing supply chains have been willing to look at cloud-based tools more so than we might have thought a couple of years ago.”

In the coming years, expect to see greater investments in supply chain risk and resiliency, particularly in supply chain monitoring and visibility. There will also be a renewed interest in data management organization with key participation from IT departments. 

Lastly, anticipate investments in execution excellence, notably around more integrated supply chain execution and delivery of product-wrapped services.  

Check out No. 1 & 2 here. 

About IDC Manufacturing Insights

IDC Manufacturing Insights assists manufacturing businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing asset intensive, brand oriented, technology oriented, and engineering oriented manufacturing industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit