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QAD 2020 Predictions: In 2020 a Quicker Response to Industry Disruption is Imperative

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

By Brent Dawkins, Director, Product Marketing QAD

In 2020 a Quicker Response to Industry Disruption is Imperative

Historic disruption is occurring across the manufacturing industry. Customers have increasing expectations for personalized products and services that meet unique needs and requirements. Global trade rifts are impacting business uncertainty. Consumers are demanding transparency across labeling, sourcing and supply chain sustainability. Advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and robotic process automation introduce complexity in terms of which technologies should be adopted and which prove to be impractical. Response to these disruptions and pressures cannot occur fast enough for manufacturers that want to maintain and gain competitive advantages.

A Forbes 2018 article highlights that research from Scott D. Anthony "confirms that indeed, for leaders to thrive in today's constantly disruptive way of life, they must be transforming today's and tomorrow's businesses." So, how does an organization adapt to change today and effectively plan for the future? How well does your organization respond to changing business, technology and customer demands? Do your organization and enterprise solutions effectively support a rapid response to change? In the year ahead, this rapid response to change will be increasingly important to manufacturers of all kinds. Following are just a few areas where improved responsiveness will play an ever-increasing role in 2020:

Intelligent Innovation

Established manufacturers and new entrants realize that business success requires a strong commitment to real innovation and staying ahead of the competition. Manufacturers must focus on how quickly they can respond to market turbulence while also focusing on how quickly new ideas are brought to market to create disruption. For example, how quickly can a food manufacturer respond to a new category like organic foods or introduce a new food category itself? How quickly can a medical device manufacturer address a new Food and Drug Administration regulation? How effectively can an automotive manufacturer respond to an updated MMOG/LE requirement? Or, how rapidly can an industrial manufacturer launch a new service to better meet customer requirements? In any of these instances, rapid response capability will be a key factor in 2020 as manufacturers seek to introduce new business ideas with unprecedented speed and performance analysis.

Continuous Process Improvement

Most of us probably agree that a continuous improvement approach to optimizing business processes requires the alignment of people, processes and underlying technology. One area that has seen more interest recently, and the interest is expected to continue in 2020, is a focus on deploying more rapid and agile software systems that rely on modern approaches. In the past, too many companies employed enterprise systems that were difficult to modify and adapt to business disruption.

Applications architecture is modernizing rapidly and manufacturers need to quickly connect the latest apps to the application ecosystem for continuous process improvements. Deploying adaptive and modern enterprise software systems enables companies to effectively run, maintain and quickly modify business processes. Next-generation software solutions also provide the foundation for manufacturers to easily add personalization and extend applications to address specific business requirements. In 2020, manufacturers should assess their goals and options for enterprise systems to confirm they fully support rapid and effective process improvements.

Boost Predictive Analytics

Yogi Berra is often attributed with saying, "I never make predictions, especially about the future." While predicting the future is inherently difficult, it is one area of digital disruption that manufacturers are adopting to better respond to continually changing customer demands, supply availability, production operations and other areas. What if your organization's predictive decisions could improve by utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning? This is occurring today as data scientists and other users now have the ability to build predictive models using statistical and machine learning algorithms. How could your organization benefit from improved predictions on demand forecasting, supply chain performance, asset utilization, production capacity and other areas? 2020 will be the year to determine if advanced analytics or other digital technologies can improve responsiveness to disruption and enhance operational performance.

Disruption and transformation are a constant for manufacturers and will continue to be in 2020. These pressures will intensify with uncertainties that include geopolitical factors, global economic instability, industry regulations, advanced technologies and other unforeseen circumstances. How rapidly can your organization and enterprise solutions respond to changing business conditions and requirements? Now is the time to thoroughly evaluate your organization's ability to adapt to business changes for improving manufacturing performance, exceeding customer expectations and gaining competitive advantages in the New Year.

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About the Author

Brent Dawkins 

Brent is QAD’s Director of Product Marketing with over 20 years of manufacturing and supply chain experience. In his spare time, you can find him hiking the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, coaching youth hockey or enjoying time with family.

Published Tuesday, November 19, 2019 7:41 AM by David Marshall
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