Could better factory connectivity open up new markets?

For the first time, this year’s Annual Manufacturing Report included a section on factory connectivity – with the data revealing a sense of optimism within UK manufacturing.

A tool manufacturing floor manager analyses smart factory connectivity equipment using the Internet of Things (IoT) - image courtesy of Cisco.
Almost half (44%) of respondents expected improvements in factory connectivity to help open up new markets – image courtesy of Cisco.

Many manufacturers may be taking a pragmatic view of factory connectivity and its impact on productivity, many were open to the possibility of related investments opening up new markets.

This was expected to be achieved, principally, though greater responsiveness – allowing production to be carried out more accurately, and reducing lead times.

Almost half (44%) of respondents expected improvements in factory connectivity to help open up new markets. A further 20% considered that while new markets were unlikely, the benefits provided by improve factory connectivity would help them to achieve better penetration of existing markets, or enable them to remain competitive in their existing markets.

Slightly more than a third (36%) saw no potential access to new markets arising through improved factory connectivity.

Considering that most manufacturing (80%) expected improved factory connectivity to help them to increase output levels, it seems that the majority of manufacturer see investments in factory connectivity not just as a means of cutting costs, but as a way of generating additional revenue – either by entering new markets or achieving higher production levels from existing capacity.

On average, in fact, respondents reported anticipated additional revenues of £775,000 over the next 12 months alone, with the proportion expecting additional revenues outnumbering those by more than two to one.

You can download the full Annual Manufacturing Report 2017 here.

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