Manufacturing trends to watch in 2021

By |  January 7, 2021
Venkat Eswara


With 2021 underway, now is an ideal time to look ahead to the year ahead and what’s on the horizon for manufacturers and, ultimately, end users. Here are three developments that are just around the corner or, in some instances, already in effect to some degree within the industry.

1. The pandemic drives a new customer experience. From remote service to contactless test drives, manufacturing has gone to great lengths in its attempts to modify existing operations so it can meet customer needs in a COVID-safe manner.

With customers becoming more accustomed to these offerings and workers becoming more comfortable with these new methods, expect the manufacturing industry to further integrate these alternatives into its long-term approaches. This integration will allow manufacturers to not only deliver more personalized service, but give them the opportunity to further diversify their operations and build new workforces.

2. New technology officially becomes mainstream. The pandemic caused the manufacturing industry to scrutinize its entire infrastructure and operations. With that, manufacturing businesses are beginning to more widely embrace sophisticated computing technologies to help them optimize weaknesses that may have been uncovered during the COVID era.

For example, more manufacturers are beginning to embrace IoT (Internet of Things) technology to provide greater verification of sourcing provenance. Others are looking at ways technology – including AI (artificial intelligence) ML (machine learning) and IoT – can be used to support remote workforces to make them more agile and effective. This means 2021 could be the dawn of a manufacturing sector that looks much different technologically from anything we have seen in the past.

3. A new dawn for network collaboration. Across all industries, collaboration in consumer and enterprise markets has become a necessity for incumbents to retain market share due to significant encroachment from digital disruptors. The manufacturing sector will need to embrace this same approach moving forward.

To remain competitive, manufacturers need to shift from traditional linear contracts in the supply chain to multi-party collaborative partners, with a greater focus on services customers demand. This will help all parties better manage capital while offering creative solutions to customer needs.

Venkat Eswara is vice president of product marketing at Syncron, which provides cloud-based after-sales service software solutions that empower manufacturers to increase product uptime.

Featured image: P&Q Staff

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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