Manufacturers are disruptors. We disrupt products and processes. We disrupt markets. We disrupt our own enterprises based on the needs of our customers. We disrupt because that’s what it takes to compete. We disrupt because it drives growth in our businesses and our ability to create jobs.
Disruption is not a new concept for manufacturers or any other industry that strives to outperform its competition. Disruption is a concept we embrace. We don’t do it to have onlookers say you’re crazy. We do it because our industry knows that if we are not driving the disruption, it will drive us out of business.
Technology is the latest disruptor inside the manufacturing sector. This is no secret. Technology has been driving change in our industry for decades. However, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) wanted to better understand just how much technology was disrupting our members. We wanted to know what it means for their business and, if it changes, how they think about you, their customers. So, we asked them and wanted to share with you what we found.
The results from our recent survey of NAM members says that manufacturers are investing in disruptive technologies for many reasons. It is improving shop floor efficiency, speeding up time to market, creating new revenue streams and driving future business.
We also found out a few barriers to investing in disruptive technologies—two of which include a mismatch of skills and the overreach of government regulation.
Additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, the cloud, big data, drones, robotics and the Internet of Things are just some of the disruptive technologies being leveraged by the manufacturing sector. The NAM is focused on educating lawmakers in Washington so they understand how it’s so easy to create an environment that fosters the growth of disruptive technologies in manufacturing rather than creating an “anything goes” policy environment.