While manufacturers make some short-term moves to relieve immediate stresses, they should also continue some important long-term measures.
These moves might not be at the top of current budget priorities, but they should be factored into your strategic planning and decision making:
1. Green energy:
Green energy can give you more self-reliance and more resilience to external market risks. However, that self-reliance takes time and investment to develop. There’s no “green energy” switch next to your old light switch, so now is the time to look at what partners or investments you will need in order to meet future regulations, or adapt if your current energy options go away. “The move to green energy is a great thing — however, we’re shutting down some old utility plants without having the equivalent capacity from green energy production yet,” Hersh said.
2. Emerging production technologies:
New technologies like 3D printing can fundamentally re-frame supply chain issues by putting your production closer to your customers and improving responsiveness to customer needs. Emerging production technologies can even create an advantage for mid-market manufacturers, since they can sharply reduce the time to market for new products and bypass some of the traditional constraints on starting up new production and distribution
3. Emerging back-office technologies:
Back-office technologies can help you analyze and adapt to market changes and customer needs before your competitors get to market or force up prices on the inputs you need. Like the move to green energy, the move to these emerging back-office technologies is a question of “when” rather than “if,” but it will also take time. So, it’s important to consider the right moves in your planning now, even if they are not a top budget priority.