There is no doubt that 2020 has been a year unlike any that we have experienced in recent years. Many companies had to shut down production facilities, implement new safety measures, or felt the pressure of supply chain shortages. Will the trends of 2020 carry on into the new year? And what are the predictions for industry trends for 2021? In this blog post we will have a look.
Employee Safety is Number One
As production continues its slow recovery, ensuring employee safety will continue to be a priority moving into 2021. According to Hitachi Solutions, this will include both the new safety measures relating to social distancing and employee hygiene, as well as overall safety on the job. While COVID has highlighted the importance of hygiene, many employers have also become aware of the importance of regular maintenance of machinery and maintaining safety certifications.
Digitalizing the Factory Floor
In recent years, increased focus has been on IoT (Internet of Things) and Industry 4.0. 2020 highlighted the importance of having the ability to access systems remotely, and we can expect to see even more of this, this year. IoT-enabled devices allow manufacturers to monitor safety within their facilities, and they can identify potential disruptions before they occur. This can even allow for the remote access to the machines to enable repairs if needed. An increased monitoring of machinery also allows for routine check-ups to ensure that there is no downtime due to repairs.
Re-evaluating the Supply Chain
When the world shut down, many manufacturers were faced with shortages as many supplies have been outsourced to Asia. This has highlighted the flaws in outsourcing and the potential of sourcing more locally. It is expected that this could push reshoring, or the local production of materials, and that many manufacturers may be re-evaluating their supply chain to find suppliers locally. This would allow for a more resilient supply chain, and may provide an economical boost to local economies in the years to come.
Virtual Product Consulting
In 2020 we also learned just how many meetings can be done online. At B-COMMAND, we transitioned to conducting all our product consultations through virtual meetings and screen sharing technologies. While we hope to return to fairs and events as soon as it is safe do so, we have also seen how easy it is to connect with customers online. We are expecting that virtual consultations will continue to be part of our daily lives in 2021 and beyond. If you would like to schedule a virtual consultation with one of our consultants, please feel free to contact us and we would be happy to help.
These are just some of the trends that we have seen in articles recently, predicted for 2021. What have been some of the challenges your company has faced in 2020? How will they affect you in the year to come?