Smart Manufacturing Sees New Levels of Success, Survey Finds

Productivity improvements, cost savings and supply chain resilience were identified as main drivers for smart manufacturing initiatives

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

May 25, 2023

2 Min Read

Smart manufacturing projects saw newfound levels of success over the past year, an

ISG smart manufacturing survey found.

The survey looked at 125 senior industry members in smart manufacturing and found 71% of respondents are achieving successful results from smart manufacturing initiatives in 2023, up from 37% in 2022.

At the same time, uncertainty over whether success has been achieved has decreased significantly, down to 11%, compared with 53% last year.

Productivity improvements, cost savings and supply chain resilience were highlighted as the primary motivators for businesses to adopt these initiatives.

“Smart manufacturing is both relatively new and decidedly successful,” said Gaurav Gupta, ISG’s partner. “More than 60% of respondents to our study started a smart manufacturing initiative within the past four years, and those investments appear to be paying off, with more than 70% reporting success as measured by cost savings and the quality of manufacturing.”

There are, however, still some obstacles to widespread uptake, with organizational change identified as a key challenge. 

"Smart manufacturing is changing the workplace and the way the business operates,” said Alex Bakker, co-author of the study. “While companies are achieving their technical goals, these programs will not be successful without a strategy to ensure the technologies are used as intended.”

Obstacles identified varied between regions, with U.S. companies also citing legacy equipment as a major challenge in rolling out smart manufacturing projects. By contrast, European companies identified funding, ROI, scalability, training and IT/OT/ET integration as their top challenges after organizational change.

“It’s critical to have a change management strategy that connects all elements of the value chain,” said John Lytle, ISG Industrial Manufacturing’s director. “Enterprises struggling with resistance to change, conflicting priorities or unclear change management strategies should prioritize a target operating model that synchronizes their people, processes and technology to increase the business value smart manufacturing is already delivering.”

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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