8 technologies every manufacturing start-up should invest in

In times of constant technological growth and improvement, investing in cutting-edge technologies can help manufacturing start-ups find their place on the market, grow and surpass their competitors.

Keeping up with the innovations and using them in daily activities can help manufacturing businesses remain productive and efficient, and evolve at a faster speed. This article looks at ever-green technologies such as IoT, machine learning, 3D printing, cloud computing and AR to help start-ups find the right path for investment.

Why is tech so important for emerging businesses?

The value of technologies for new businesses is impossible to overestimate. In 2023, companies can’t survive without innovations, so the sooner you implement them, the better results you will get. Here are only some of the reasons why tech is so important for start-ups (and other businesses as well).

New products and services: When start-ups enter the market, they want to develop new approaches and products to challenge traditional companies and find their own path. This task is much easier to complete by implementing recent technologies and innovations.

Better communication: Many start-ups are international with team members spread across the world, so they need a stable, secure and fast way to communicate with each other. In this regard, switching to a VoIP system becomes a great solution because you don’t depend on phone lines which can fail at any time.

Stable growth: Modern technologies let start-ups grow at a much faster speed. For example, process automation frees up much-needed time, cloud computing allows fast access to documents and digital platforms help with reaching target audiences more efficiently.

Reduced costs: It is not a secret that IT infrastructure can be rather expensive but not all start-ups can boast decent budgets. However, the solution is just around the corner – emerging businesses can implement such cost-effective technologies as open-source tools, cloud-based services and SaaS solutions to optimise their expenses.

Better decision making: With the help of modern technologies, companies can collect, process and analyse huge volumes of information on literally any topic. Thus, start-ups can get priceless insights about competitors, current market trends, customer behaviour and their own efficiency.

Competitive advantage: By utilising recent technologies, start-ups can offer advanced features, optimise their processes and boost user experience. This will help new businesses reach the target audience faster, grow their market share and occupy solid positions in the industry.

Access to investments: Investors often choose start-ups with an innovative approach and focus on the latest technologies. Such businesses have bigger chances to get the much-needed funding for future growth. Technologies are also great when you start a fundraising campaign on the internet.

Customer engagement: With the help of social media and other digital platforms, it is much simpler to reach the audience and engage it directly. With the help of SMM and online marketing, start-ups can boost user acquisition and turn visitors into loyal customers.

As a result, manufacturing start-ups need technologies to differentiate themselves from their competitors, make smarter decisions, scale properly, engage with the audience and use funds efficiently. Choosing the right technologies and implementing them on every step of the journey will lead to sustainable growth and business success even in the most demanding niche.

The best types of technologies

Robotic hand stock image. Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash

In this section, we want to cover 8 types of technologies that manufacturing startups can use to their advantage.

1. Internet of Things

IoT can be found in literally every sphere of our lives including retail, agriculture, healthcare and transportation. According to statistics, there will be around 15 billion IoT devices in the world in 2023, almost two times more than the global population. It is explained as the international system of connected devices and objects that collect and share data across the internet without human intervention.

The biggest advantages of this technology for manufacturing start-ups include better decision-making based on real-time data, optimisation of production stages, predictive maintenance and reduced downtime. As a result, businesses may witness better productivity and cost efficiency.

2. 3D Printing

Additive or 3D manufacturing has been around for quite a while. It makes manufacturing processes much simpler and cheaper, so even small start-ups can create masterpieces without the need to have complex machines and lots of storage space.

With the help of 3D printing, manufacturing start-ups can create challenging designs and prototypes with greater accuracy and speed. This technology also reduces waste and can make personalised pieces. 3D printing is great for scalability and entering new markets because it has a great ROI and doesn’t require much skills and knowledge.

3. Artificial intelligence and machine learning

These technologies are known for their ability to automate numerous processes and optimise a huge variety of tasks. AI can analyse massive volumes of information and identify common patterns reducing the chances of human errors almost to the minimum. By implementing AI and ML, manufacturers can achieve great product quality and resource allocation. Other advantages of machine learning include:

  • Makes it easier to detect trends and correlations;
  • All processes are fully automated which saves lots of human resources;
  • It is constantly learning and improving;
  • Can be applied in all spheres, not only manufacturing.

4. Data analytics

Data analytics is already a self-sufficient branch that more and more businesses pay attention to. It is especially crucial for start-ups which heavily rely on data. They need insights into supply chains, customer behaviour, the current state of operations and a bunch of other indicators.

By collecting and analysing data, manufacturing start-ups can reduce costs, attract more customers, improve production and provide services of higher quality. With the help of data analytics, it is possible to make informed decisions and forecasts for the future. This technology leads to stable growth and helps with occupying firmer positions in a highly-competitive market.

5. Robotics

This is probably one of the most popular and anticipated technologies of 2023. Robotic systems have revolutionised the manufacturing industry and nowadays it is not rare to see robots completing repetitive tasks with minimum human interference. They can boast top-notch accuracy and speed which leads to improved productivity and cost saving. You don’t need to pay tens of employees because robots will do everything for free!

The same applies to automation systems which are widely used by manufacturing companies to handle materials and logistics, assembly lines, and minimise errors at every stage of the process. Plus, these systems greatly contribute to working safety which is a number one priority for all manufacturers.

6. Augmented and Virtual Reality

AR and VR are not new technologies but for some reason, they are often overlooked by manufacturing start-ups. Their benefits are huge and the sooner you implement these technologies, the better. AR can teach workers to complete difficult tasks and processes faster and more effectively thanks to immersing in real-life environments. VR can create virtual simulations to visualise and fix designs before bringing them to life.

By using AR and VR, start-ups and businesses reduce mistakes, improve learning, and boost productivity every step of the way.

7. Cloud computing

Cloud computing is one of the best technologies ever invented as it offers lots of capabilities for storing data, accessing software, and communicating without a need to invest in servers. When transferring data to the cloud, manufacturing start-ups reduce costs, promote remote work, and give access to information in real time. This technology is a must for those who value flexibility, efficiency, and scalability.

8. Cyber security

As more and more companies digitalize, they need to apply advanced cyber security measures to protect themselves from hackers and malware. As a start-up, you should invest in modern cybersecurity software to protect personal information, systems, financial data, and intellectual property from different types of cyber threats. The most common measures include data encryption, network segmentation, and weekly or monthly security audits.

Tips on choosing the best technologies

Here are a few things to keep in mind to make the best decision when choosing technologies for a manufacturing start-up:

  • Understand what you need. Write down your pain points and aspects that you want to improve. It is also important to make a list of goals you want to achieve with these technologies – reduce costs, improve communication, add flexibility and so on. Thus, you will be able to choose technologies that solve a particular problem.
  • Evaluate your current technologies. Conducting a technology audit might not sound thrilling but it is an important thing to do to identify what current systems need to be updated or improved. While some areas may be altered slightly, others might require a full replacement.
  • Stay updated on the recent trends and news. This will help you find promising instruments and understand how they work before investing any time or money. Attend various exhibitions and shows, read case studies, and follow other manufacturing start-ups on social media to see how they work.
  • Calculate return-on-investment for every technology. Evaluate how much you will need to spend to buy, install and maintain the software or hardware. Then calculate how much money you may eventually save. Stick to technologies with higher ROI and plausible timeframes.
  • Consider scalability. Manufacturing start-ups are usually willing to grow, so it is crucial to choose technologies that can grow as well. They should be able to handle additional workloads, support expansion, and operate under unexpected circumstances.
  • Make sure that the chosen technology can be integrated with your current systems. It will also be a huge plus if the vendor has responsive customer support that will help throughout the installation and maintenance stages.
  • Get professional advice. Talk to advisors, vendors, and consultants who know both – technology and manufacturing. They might give you valuable insights, recommend technologies, and even assist in the process.
  • Test the technology before buying it. Most products have a free trial version, so you can run a short test to evaluate whether it suits your needs.

When choosing the right technology for your manufacturing business, remember that it must align with your strategy and vision. Don’t make the decision on your own. Engage all departments and personnel and make an informed decision together.

Investing in modern technologies is your path to success

The world of technology is very engaging not depending on whether you are an individual, a manufacturing start-up or a well-established business. By utilising artificial intelligence, cloud storage, AR and VR, 3D printing, and other technologies we have discussed above, you can achieve great efficiency and productivity, attract funding, engage more customers, and scale much faster.