The Future of Making Things (FOMT) is disrupting the manufacturing industry like nothing has before and is a distinct paradigm shift to many established processes. But if your business takes the necessary steps to adjust it too could also ride the FOMT wave, be at the forefront of change and be at the sweet spots of profitability for all manufacturers – First to Market, Innovative Design and Unique Products.
The FOMT means the marketplace is changing; the way things are produced is moving forward rapidly, product intelligence is advancing, as software allows the creation of a broader ecosystem, and most importantly, the customer (both consumer and commercial) is becoming more educated, and is demanding a personalised, sustainable product.
Future of Making Things Readiness Assessment
Click on the image below to take a confidential readiness assessment to gauge your own businesses readiness for The Future of Making Things
Making the move to FOMT
So how does a business adapt to the changing global market which we call the Future of Making Things? Fighting unquestionable change has always proved futile but as companies become accustomed to change and identify how they can turn this to their advantage in a particular market sector, the magic begins to happen.
Personalisation in FOMT
Firstly, manufacturing will need to adapt to the market changes which are already very evident. Let’s face it, this is simply part of everyday business, but in the case of FOMT one important aspect of this change is the increasing demand for customisation. Market forces will drive manufacturers to invest in technology that allows them to create personalised products, or else they face the potential of decreasing market share.
Industry research shows that younger customers are becoming less brand loyal, so it could prove critical not to take this on board when addressing the company’s existing markets.
One company that has successfully introduced a personalised product is Mono, a car manufacturer which operates a system whereby clients receive a fitted cockpit to maximise their experience. The customer gets a truly personalised experienced at a very competitive price in an industry where this type of customisation would normally only be affordable to a select section of the market.
If a business can personalise a product at an affordable price to the end consumer or business, the end consumer will pay more and that in turn leads to improved profit margins. Equally the business will have not only given the customer what they desire, they are also giving them a unique product without an additional development cost.
This sort of design model will soon go from niche to de rigueur, and to survive companies must adapt and plan to stay ahead of the trend – welcome to the Future of Making Things.
Collaboration and FOMT
In the FOMT, it is important for companies to collaborate in their design processes to maximise creativity. Here at Graitec, we have for example successfully collaborated with Autodesk, producing powerful extensions for existing products, as we do with Power Pack for Advance Steel.
At Autodesk they have collaborated with other software vendors to improve the functionality of their Digital Prototyping software, taking advantage of the vastly improved collaboration channels available today, which shows that collaboration with others brings dividends and drives innovation.
Flexibility and FOMT
The Future of Manufacturing will also demand flexibility in the manufacturing process, as manufacturing companies are already facing new competitive suppliers and may not be aware of it.
Affordable emerging technologies (for example 3D printing) are opening up many markets to small agile start-up businesses that are not encumbered by traditional manufacturing processes and design workflows. These businesses are already disrupting existing established brands, driving them to adopt the latest tech so that they can efficiently manufacture small or personalised batch runs and cope with increasingly volatile markets.
The Internet of Things and FOMT
Manufacturers are also being driven to produce innovative connected and smart products for a far more immersive customer experience, and in order to participate in the benefits of “Big Data”.
Products can be “connected” so that performance data can be monitored or technology updated to increase the perceived value add to end consumers.
To this end, FOMT is already evolving using the Internet of Things and the rapid advancements in connectivity mean that IoT has already transcended the boundaries of existing historic network shackles and opened the floodgates to the design and proliferation of a new generation of connected products.
These are the key market forces driving the change that many manufacturing businesses will need to consider in order to survive and thrive in the FOMT.
Product Innovation Platforms Enable FOMT
However, to make these separate parts come together, companies will have to combine them within a Product Innovation Platform (PIP), which is an overarching solution, built on the Cloud, which will inform and connect the design, manufacture and use of your products, and drive collaboration.
The Future of Making Things is not just a spot on the horizon; it is the here and now of where all manufacturing companies should be. Autodesk is already at the forefront of driving this innovation across the UK and other global markets, and they have set up a Readiness Assessment, which is a handy way for you to find out where your company needs to improve:
Click on the image below to conduct your own assessment
If you want to know more about the FOMT click on the above image and conduct your own FOMT Readiness report, or speak to one of our Manufacturing Consultants on 023 8086 8947