How industrial manufacturers can beat slow growth through digitization

February 14, 2017

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By Marian Mueller, Bobby Bono, Steve Pillsbury and Barry Misthal

Looking around the globe, we see headwinds from Brexit continuing, two years of stimulus coming to an end in China and a new administration in the US with new policies beginning. As a result, we still believe that industrial manufacturing will remain in a slow-growth environment for the foreseeable future.

Countering this, gains in productivity are critical to the success of industrial manufacturers. Designing tools and equipment that improves efficiency, costs and performance of factories and other capital projects are tactics that can serve customers, and themselves, quite well, making innovation strategies critical.

Becoming more aggressive and deliberate in their investments will be the name of the game for industrial manufacturers. Developing technology platforms and new operating models to enable connected products and services and integrate their customers’ operations should be key areas of focus–all while maintaining and increasing visibility and transparency of supply chains, production levels, inventory, quality levels and capacity availability.

We see tremendous opportunity here…but only if industrial manufacturers prioritize investments in new machinery, software, talent and skills training. They must also figure out how to manage a superabundance of new data so that it becomes useful, not overwhelming. They must adapt technology to run their own supply chains and operations more seamlessly, monetize digitization, and find talent adept at industrial software programming and analytics. And, they must build strategic partnerships that won’t compete for market share.

In PwC and Strategy&’s 2017 Industrial Manufacturing Trends report, we share six actions to help industrial manufacturers profit with digitization, despite the challenges of a slow-growth environment. With smart, deliberate strides, opportunities abound.


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