As a small to medium-sized business, more commonly referred to as an SME, it can be difficult to stay competitive against larger corporations. This is because they possess and have access to a larger pool of resources, such as human and financial resources, which can create greater potential for the creation of market advantage. However, small to medium-sized businesses should not be discouraged. The real key to carving out meaningful competitive advantage is to be ahead of the curve and anticipate the changing needs of customers. Identifying the ever-changing needs of customers and successfully satisfying it with an innovative or unique offering, will help your business capture a significant portion of the market, improve revenue, encourage customer loyalty, and so on.

In manufacturing, being future and customer-oriented is of the utmost importance. This is because manufacturing is directly involved with the creation of the offering, which has been designed to fulfil the needs of the customer, as well as its delivery to the end-user. Being aware of the future direction of the manufacturing industry and the upcoming trends will allow your manufacturing business to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your supply chain. Thus, potentially leading to greater customer satisfaction that the competition may not be able to emulate.

Some of the most notable trends in the manufacturing industry include:

Digital Prototyping

Digital Prototyping refers to the way in which visualisation technologies have enabled manufacturing companies to virtually create scaled models or revised versions of products along the production line process. Digital prototyping enables manufacturing companies to work out the kinks early on in the development process, and effectively reduce the time and costs associated with producing a subpar offering.

Agile Development

Previously, the structure of more traditional supply chains made it challenging to incorporate feedback into the research and development phase. Feedback only came into play once the product was already completed, which leads to resources being wasted unnecessarily on products that customers may have not even wanted. Agile development of the supply chain is much more intuitive and incorporates feedback more frequently along the process. This firmly places the customer’s needs at the heart of the manufacturing company’s operations and enables greater customer relations.

On-Demand Customisation

Manufacturing custom goods used to be a costly process as it lacked the economies of scale to justify production. Now intelligent processes, rapidly improving technology and skilled labour have allowed manufacturers to produce custom products at-scale for a reasonable price. On-Demand customisation is a great way to establish a competitive advantage, as the ability to truly know what the customer wants and then deliver it, will help effectively differentiate your manufacturing business from others in the market.

Does your manufacturing company looking for quality labour hire to assist with operations? Contact us at Workfast on our website or call 1300 824 403.