How Manufacturing Companies Build Digital Muscle with Technology and Partnerships

Aug 06, 2020

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Volodymyr Rudyi

According to IBISWorld, there are 569,902 manufacturing businesses in the U.S. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics counts approximately 11.7 million people that work for U.S. manufacturing companies. 

Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute forecasts that approximately 4.6 million manufacturing jobs will be needed over the next decade. However, a little over half of those jobs, 2.4 million, will be difficult to fill due to skills gaps.

Continued Risk for Disruption

Even more concerning, the current edition of the Deloitte Manufacturing Industry Outlook warns that manufacturers are at “continued risk for disruption.” 

To counter this, Deloitte sees manufacturing companies building “digital muscle” to become more agile and manage risk. These same companies are investing in additive manufacturing, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and robotics to drive faster changes, in response to market threats and opportunities.

The same research from Deloitte also finds manufacturers leaning more heavily on partnerships to build and sustain digital momentum. This typically includes working more closely with their suppliers, channels, and customers to improve productivity and output. And many manufacturers are partnering with companies that can improve their digital capabilities.

Why are Digitally-Focused Partnerships so Critical?

Most U.S. manufacturing companies are small. The U.S. Census Bureau, Statistics of U.S. Businesses found that only about 1.5% of U.S. manufacturing companies have more than 500 employees. And roughly 75% of U.S. manufacturing companies have less than 20 employees.

Is your manufacturing company leaning more heavily on partnerships to build and sustain digital momentum? Share your comments below.

And if you’d like to learn how to stay competitive in a digital world, download our eBook, “How Manufacturing Leaders Reduce Organizational Friction.”

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