The impacts of COVID-19 have added rocket fuel to manufacturing trends that were already rapidly picking up speed. These trends are now in hyperdrive and companies that recognize the significance of this acceleration and act accordingly stand to gain appreciable competitive advantage. How businesses respond to disruption in the next year will largely determine their fate for the next decade.

At Pivot International, we’re helping companies worldwide forge the future of their business and reshape a rapidly evolving industry. With advanced digitization, including AI, IoT, blockchain, VR, AR, and SMT technologies, we bring over 200,000 square feet of manufacturing capability across three continents and supply chain solutions for surmounting disruption and navigating a post-COVID world. With nearly 50 years of experience in bringing successful products to market that span twelve industries, we’re helping to position our partners to seize opportunity and grow their business in times of challenge.

Manufacturing Trends

What trends, challenges, and opportunities should companies keep their eyes on? Here are some manufacturing trends that top our list:

An Increase of Mergers and Acquisitions

With supply chains already strained by ongoing trade-tensions prior to COVID-19, more and more supply relations have been stretched to their breaking point. For many companies, this presents a prime opportunity for innovation, expansion, or both. An acceleration of mergers and acquisitions will continue as fewer companies command a share of the playing field.

Agility and Innovation as Core Competencies for the New Normal

COVID-19 disruption exposed and widened the gaps between global challenges and the industry’s capacity to close them. As waves of disruption rippled throughout the industry, companies scrambled to secure disintegrating supply chains, improvising with alternative sourcing, repurposing their production lines, and thinking outside the box of “business as usual.” Companies that wish to immunize themselves against disruption and remain competitive in the emerging manufacturing landscape will have to make this kind of agility and innovation a permanent part of their operations.

Supply Network Transparency and Cross-Company Integration

For years, many companies have paid lip service to the need for greater supply chain diversity and predictability. But as COVID-19 disruption reached critical mass and supply streams ran dry, the proverbial chickens came home to roost. Few companies survived unscathed, causing them to take the imperative of supply network transparency and cross-company integration even more seriously. Companies must look both upstream and downstream to analyze strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. From raw materials to components to assemblies to prototypes and fully-fledged products, cross-company integration is the new order of the day.

Local Sourcing and On-Demand Manufacturing Technologies

Between the trade wars and COVID-19, the 25-year trend toward Chinese manufacturing will begin to reverse as security-sensitive sourcing and production migrates west and becomes increasingly localized. For non-consumer parts and products, especially, regional protectionism will be factor prominently. To support localization, robotization, additive manufacturing, and other on-demand technologies will see a spike in growth with wider adoption.

Companies’ supply chains and margins are under unprecedented pressure. To defy disruption and maintain and build market share on an increasingly competitive playing field, leaders must remain watchful for opportunities to profit from accelerating trends. By tracking mergers and acquisitions, making agility and innovation a core competency, achieving greater supply chain transparency and cross-company integration, and — where it makes sense — shifting to local or on-demand manufacturing, companies can adaptively respond to changing demand curves and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

If you’re seeking a proven partner for defying disruption, getting a project back on track, achieving the first-to-market advantage, or making a strategic play to dramatically improve your competitive position, Pivot delivers the solutions you’ve been looking for. We’ve provided the product design, engineering, development, manufacturing, and distribution know-how for some of the world’s most innovative companies. Contact us today to see the difference we can make to yours.