Enterprises have come to embrace an ‘ecosystem’ approach to manufacturing—which is about more than vendor partnerships.

Lauren Horwitz

November 16, 2020

2 Min Read

With the advent of COVID-19, numerous enterprises had to adjust and make quick shifts to deal with the fallout. As certain products became scarce and demand lopsided, manufacturers often couldn’t address manufacturing and supply chain dysfunction on their own.

As a result, manufacturers quickly learned the benefits of joining forces with partners and even competitors to continue operations more seamlessly. Moreover, many of these manufacturers employed a range of smart manufacturing principles –digit computer-integrated manufacturing, rapid design changes, digitization and IoT, and flexible workforce training – to achieve common goals more rapidly.

According to Deloitte’s report “Accelerating Smart Manufacturing,” 62% of respondents are moving forward with smart manufacturing initiatives,–although many acknowledged it could take a year to implement smart manufacturing plans.

But to to achieve smart manufacturing success, companies now use ecosystems, in which they develop strategic partnerships with external sources to achieve common goals. “Companies are no longer doing things by themselves,” said Paul Wellener, vice chairman, U.S. industrial products at Deloitte. “They have to look to partners to accelerate their efforts.” Companies are working collectively in these four areas to achieve greater smart manufacturing success.

With smart manufacturing ecosystem approaches, enterprises have begun to pool resources, develop collaborative relationships and share data in these four critical manufacturing areas:

  • Manufacturing plant ecosytems. These ecosystems involve traditional resources within the four walls of the enterprise for manufacturing

  • Supply chain ecosystems. These ecosystems involve sourcing, transportation and logistics.

  • Customer ecosystems. Using channel partners, using social media and other means to connect and engage with customers.

  • Talent ecosystems. This employs new workforce structures such as gig workers, internships and other sourcing strategies.

For more on using an ecosystem approach to achieve smart manufacturing success, check out our conversation about smart manufacturing with Wellener below.



About the Author(s)

Lauren Horwitz

Lauren Horwitz is a senior content director on Channel Futures, Channel Partners and IoT World Today.

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