Blog

How COVID-19 Is Impacting and Reshaping Manufacturing

Impact of COVID-19 on manufacturing
Digital Transformation

How COVID-19 Is Impacting and Reshaping Manufacturing

COVID 19 has bought the manufacturing activity to stand still and will leave a lasting impression in the manufacturing landscape. It has exposed the weaknesses in the global supply chain and thrown the questions around the same. 

With reduced spendings and plummeting oil prices, how soon the manufacturing companies can bounce back depends on government spending and also how individual companies adapt to the challenges. Here is a quick overview of the impact and potential trends in manufacturing post the crisis. 

Impact of COVID-19 on manufacturing

According to a survey report from NAM.org, COVID has already started to grapple the manufacturers with many expecting potential consequences in the future. 

The survey further reveals:

  • 78.3% of manufacturers  anticipate the financial impact 
  • 53.1% of them anticipate change in operations
  • 35.5% of them face supply chain disruptions

The impact is well across the sections of the industry and it is going to present some challenges & opportunities to move forward. 

Some of the major challenges the industry has to take on. 

  • Massive supply chain disruptions
  • Risks in Global Supply chains
  • Labours – Bringing them back & reducing the density in shop floors
  • Identifying digital solutions to enable business continuity plan

Here’s a positive note of insight from Romil Bahl, president, and CEO, KORE on the current pandemic and its impact.

“We see manufacturing, among many industries, emerging from this pandemic more resilient and more innovative. This is the time where creativity, embracing technology, and outside-the-box thinking is called upon in ways that we couldn’t have imagined prior to this experience. IoT will be there hand-in-hand to connect autonomous devices and sensors, identify supply gaps and prevent shortages with rich data to help manufacturers manage, deploy, and scale to keep their organization as productive as possible.”

Key trends in Manufacturing  industries post COVID crisis

These are some trends we predict, some of them are already there but COVID 19 would expedite the rate of adoption. 

Reshoring to cut down on offshoring risk

A major challenge for most manufacturing companies across the globe is they’re too reliant on the manufacturing hubs from other parts of the world. The COVID-19 impact has clearly necessitated that the leveraging manufacturing hubs for producing materials for the country from outside the country will not during volatile situations like this as most borders are sealed and literally no transportation existing between countries. 

Companies/Industries would start looking for having end to end supply chains within their regions to navigate uncertainty. 

Manufacturing renaissance through Robots

As COVID – 19 threw the spanners in global supply chain models, companies in developed countries might shift their focus to Lights Out Factory – Robots. While this might not happen immediately, this might accelerate the investment in Robots.  

According to a report, advanced economy countries like the USA, Germany, Japan have already started to invest in robots after the 2008 economic impact. Developed countries might incentivize their companies to invest in robots to bring in Manufacturing renaissance. And this could pose a major threat to many developing countries’ growth models which is driven by low-cost manufacturing. 

Proactive deployment of automation technologies 

This would be the right time for companies to explore proactive deployment of automation technologies (Combination of robots, IIoT devices to support remote monitoring & controlling Inventory & Material movement automation). Lights out Factory would need lots of investment and may be out of reach for small & medium size manufacturers, but they can start looking to adopt automation technologies to reduce the dependency & increase productivity and this is the right time to do that. 

Leveraging digital solutions to overcome traditional process pitfalls

The evolution of COVID has necessitated manufacturers the significance of digital solutions. With most employees working from home, the importance of adapting to the Cloud has remarkably increased as digital technology enables any time, anywhere access to users. It’s very important for executives to be able to continue to work, plan & prepare the next steps even if they are not able to come to offices/ factories. 

It’s time to rethink strategy and take advantage of emerging techniques along with digital enablers to overcome the COVID impact and prepare for the future.