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Manufacturing Trends to Expect in 2023

The past few years have been challenging for manufacturers, with several major jurisdictions hovering precariously on the recession line.

This is undoubtedly the case in the United States, which is still in the midst of general uncertainty created by issues at home and abroad.

However, with economies generally running in cycles, businesses have entered 2023 with renewed optimism about what lies ahead.

Platforms such as Katana are helping manufacturing businesses gain better insights into their operations, which has boosted confidence in the sector.

With that in mind, we assess some of the manufacturing trends to expect this year, starting with one which will delight proud Americans. 

All Roads Lead Home?

The United States was the center of the manufacturing universe after World War II, but things went pear-shaped during the early part of the 21st century.

Millions of jobs disappeared between 2000 and 2010, with sectors such as furniture and textiles massively impacted by cheaper imports.  

Recent delays in supply chains and regulatory issues have now created a window of opportunity for US manufacturers to regain some of the ground they lost.

Some firms may also rethink their strategy of moving manufacturing overseas in 2023, giving another potentially major boost to the American economy.

Manufacturers To Embrace Flexibility

A feature of the past few years has been the shift towards businesses embracing employment practices such as remote working or flexible hours.

Manufacturing has been a little slower than others in implementing this, but we expect this will change radically during 2023 and beyond.

Potential employees no longer have to tolerate dated working conditions and manufacturers are increasingly recognizing the importance of moving with the times.

Creating a platform for employees to enjoy a healthy work/life balance is essential if the manufacturing sector wants to thrive.

Data Will Power Growth

A feature of most modern businesses is their reliance on data to inform how they operate today and, more importantly, in the future.

Manufacturers will further harness the power of data in 2023 to make decisions on key elements such as production, sourcing, and reducing costs.

By using data more effectively, manufacturers can gain better insights into where improvements are needed across the spectrum of processes they undertake.

Data will also increasingly be used to inform advertising and marketing strategies, to ensure manufacturers are making the right noise to their audience.

Bigger May Not Necessarily Be Better

Large-scale manufacturers are rarely slow at coming forward when it comes to shouting about the technological improvements they have made.

For an established business where money is no object, enhancing every aspect of its technology infrastructure makes perfect sense.

However, for manufacturers further down the sale, it is imperative to adopt an ethos of ‘walk before you can run’ to ensure the company does not overstretch itself.

On that basis, we expect to see many small to medium manufacturing enterprises invest more gradually in technology improvements during 2023 and over the coming years.

Manufacturing Trends – The Final Word

Manufacturers that have safely navigated through a tricky period should now be well-placed to power forward over the coming months.

While it is too early to suggest a golden era for manufacturing is just around the corner, the trajectory should at least start moving upwards in short to medium term.

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