As the manufacturing sector rebounds from the pandemic, how can businesses adapt to overcome the lingering challenges of 2020-1 and embrace the opportunities that await?

Managing The Supply Chain
To be more competitive and manage the supply chain more effectively, manufacturers will need efficient data management and demand forecasting mechanisms, using the latest technology to improve visibility and understand the changing face of consumer demand – thereby avoiding stockouts and ensuring that raw materials are in the right place at the right time.

Selling Direct To Customers
The gradual demise of the high street – accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the long-term shift towards digital retail channels – means manufacturers are less able to access bricks-and-mortar stores to sell their goods.

To counteract this, manufacturers will have to increasingly use a direct-to-consumer (D2C) model, which is growing steadily in the UK: in 2021, D2C was expected to grow by nearly one-fifth, demonstrating the potential for manufacturers to secure new business in place of traditional avenues. Manufacturers will need to implement digital sales channels with card payment options, in addition to adapting other key aspects of selling: warehouse management, distribution, and customer care.

Implementing Cybersecurity
The frequency of cyber-attacks on manufacturing businesses is increasing year-on-year as criminals explore sophisticated ways of stealing money and intellectual property from businesses.

A cyber-attack on a manufacturing business can be incredibly costly. To combat the threat, manufacturers will need to enhance their entire security operation: not just by having robust technology, but by employing experienced and skilled staff to deploy countermeasures, monitor attacks on the business, and optimise cybersecurity tools.

Increasing Agility
As 2020 demonstrated, the manufacturing landscape can be vulnerable to external events. Having survived Brexit and Covid-19, businesses should optimise their agility to overcome unexpected challenges, a change that involves the company infrastructure and its people.

By implementing advanced Cloud systems, manufacturing businesses will benefit from improved visibility of data, cost efficiencies, people management, and lead times, and will be more prepared to overcome the hurdles that await them.

Enhanced Connectivity
Finally, manufacturers should continue to implement the Internet of Things (IoT) in their production cycles. Intelligent automated systems will maximise efficiency, cut costs, and minimise maintenance downtime.

Connectivity is necessary to capture the full benefits of IoT, so manufacturers should consider whether their devices connect efficiently between locations and whether critical data is transferred and stored securely.

Hone-All: Proudly Supporting Our Manufacturing Customers
At Hone-All, we’ve successfully negotiated the challenges of the last two years and continue to support our manufacturing customers by delivering a high-quality and dependable precision machining service. To find out more, or to request a free, no-obligation quotation for your project, please call us on 01525 370666.

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