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Technology has made many differences in the manufacturing industry for good. Digital technologies have open new opportunities for manufacturers to improve various revenue streams. Thus, we have seen more and more businesses adopting digital technologies to attract more customers scaling their businesses faster.

For those who are in search for new ways to drive growth in 2018, Tigernix listed 5 top technology trends you might want to consider adopting. 

More Analytics
Data and analytics is a known fact for better business since the beginning of the time. Although manufacturing businesses knew this they were missing big times on data due to overwhelming manual data analyzing processes and the limits of old data analytical systems. Availability of new analytical tools that has the capability to analyze data automatically has given the manufacturers the opportunity to use the data they’ve been collecting and hoarding for years without getting much use out of it to make more profit. BI (Business Intelligence) and manufacturing intelligence tools are now two of the main priority of manufacturers worldwide and will continue to be so in 2018. Manufacturers worldwide are ready to fine-tune their services and products to up their game utilizing the power of such tools. Thus you see a rise of adoption of analytical tools so far in 2018 and the trend will continue the rest of the year and will be there in 2019 too.

No matter how much data a business receives through how many channels, the new tools will put data together to help you see patterns, trends and company weaknesses enabling you to optimize your processes and operations while making it easy for manufacturers to deliver what customers want the most. 

Quality comes first
Today’s buyers are hard to please and won’t settle for what they receive unless they feel like that’s what they deserve for the price. This is been happening for a few years now and 2018 has become a year many manufacturers can’t ignore it but make the quality their top priority. Many manufacturers around the world have made quality their number one priority and claim that it’s the number one factor that is behind their success in the market and will be one of the most important things that will decide their future in the business. 

Thus, 2018 has become a year manufacturers giving a lot of thoughts to make sure the quality of their products and services. This year quality becomes one of the top factors over price and other things that decides, manufacturers’ loyalty to suppliers. The manufacturers have taken supplier audits seriously when selecting suppliers than ever before so far in 2018. Because they are looking for partners that help them please their customer base, that becomes harder and harder to please.  

More on mobile 
Another trend that can bring you more growth this year be more on mobile. Customers are expecting quick responses, quick solutions, quick deliveries…basically quick in everything as they know it’s possible in the technologically-advanced world we live in. Manufacturing businesses have identified this trend or the expectation among customers and have adopted technologies to deliver what customers expect from them. Thus, more and more manufacturers have adopted mobile-enabled systems in their organization for product scheduling, manufacturing, fulfilment and more. 

Basically, a mobile-enabled system enables its users accesses the system via mobile devices such as mobile phones and other handheld devices. This enables employees to update records then and there and the others who involved in the process can get real-time information right after an update is made. 

With this, manufacturers get the ability to respond to customers fast and effectively which is the key to securing more sales. With real-time updates of products, on one side you will be able to give all the right answers to your customer questions.  And with customer history on the other side, you will know what to tell the customers to make the sale happen. So not just more sales, more up sales and cross sales all become achievable with mobile enables systems. 

Real-time updates for efficiency 
Speed is a crucial factor for businesses to succeed in today's world. The highly competitive manufacturing businesses experience this at it best. The time of waiting for spreadsheets to be filled, data to be entered, information to be received is not an option anymore, especially when there are technologies that give you real-time updates. Thus manufacturing, businesses tend to use more technologies that give them real-time information. 

Now, getting real-time updates are easier not just from the manufacturing department from down floor but from branches located in other cities or maybe even other countries with technological advancement in manufacturing. With technologies such as PLC devices and M2M(Machine to Machine) Interface getting real-time data from your stores, inventory and the sales team has become possible. With this, companies will be able to capture and monitor data that affects important metrics and KPIs effectively. This not just saves the times of your team but also of your customers, as now they will get fast responses from your team for their questions.

Inventory on mobile
Inventory is a place, many manufacturing businesses get stressed out having a hard time keep on top of what’s happening in there. This can affect in many ways for a business from product wastes, delays even to theft and fraud. This is why when manufacturers get the opportunity to manage their inventory with ease with technology, all of them are jumping right at it. Adopting more and more mobile inventory management system has become a rising trend in 2018 as it enables manufacturers to get everything done mobile from monitoring, tracking, tracing to reporting effectively than ever. A mobile inventory system will enter every item order that receives right from the door, entering everything from the barcode, lot numbers, purchase order details…etc. The system will track the item till it leaves the warehouse at each step, so tracing that item to know where it is and where it is at right now is easy peasy. This will save you a lot of money helping you reduce wastes, item lost, item deficits and streamlining your inventory management processes ultimately assuring you that you are doing a good job for your customers.

Conclusion
Technology is changing the global manufacturing landscape fast, making many things possible that were listed as impossible or never even thought possible in the past. Manufacturers have no choice but to adapt to the change fast by investing in new tools and apps to not to fall behind the competition. So we hope this article gives you an idea of where to start.