They say to get ready, you have to stay ready. If 2022 was any indication for what’s to come in 2023, this year is likely to have its fair share of shakeups (good and bad).
To that end, we should be taking industry predictions seriously, such as the National Association of Manufacturers' (NAM) top tech trends for the year. Among them, three tech areas stand out as the most beneficial for the potentially turbulent year ahead, each enabling flexibility, scalability, and adaptability for the market uncertainty and supply disruptions on the forefront.
Dedicating resources in these areas may prove to be the best tech investment yet.
1. Low-code/no-code development platforms
As NAM noted, using a platform with configurable components allows business teams to build and test new applications with little software development resources needed. This keeps companies nimble to respond quickly to change and act on new opportunities faster than competitors.
Consolidating enterprise systems into a single extensible platform, such as using Propel on Salesforce, simplifies data sharing and workflow further for users to create their own pages, dashboards, reporting tools, and more without writing a single line of code. The extensible platform provides the entire enterprise visibility to trends or disruptions, along with the ability to course-correct immediately.
That’s why implementing an extensible software solution is the most robust action you can take to future-proof your business needs against any challenges down the road.
YOUR READINESS RESOURCE: “How Extensibility Combats Disruption” breaks down the benefits and technical ins and outs of extensibility and its risk-mitigation benefits.
2. Training on demand
Through the last two years, manufacturers increasingly turned to digital training solutions to ensure technicians and frontline operators stayed current with changing safety requirements and processes. Now, companies can leverage that technology further to upskill their existing workforce. This can help minimize the impact of short-term volatility, like the Great Resignation, as well as the long-term shortfalls of the manufacturing skills gap that Deloitte predicts will cost the U.S. $1 trillion in GDP.
By incorporating training modules into larger business processes and enterprise systems, manufacturers ensure teams are always updated with the most recent changes. For example, as a product change order is approved in the product lifecycle management system, it triggers automated training for affected roles. Then, operators stay informed on new assemblies, safety changes, product knowledge, or advancing skills for the next generation of innovations. This is especially critical in highly regulated businesses, like medical devices, or for complex after-market field service, like industrial equipment.
As NAM concluded, this type of learning experience will be essential to attracting and retaining younger workers who are familiar with digital learning and want the latitude to gain new skills on their own schedules.
YOUR READINESS RESOURCE: Section four of “UI for Tomorrow’s Product Company” explains how to build tailor-made, user-specific Training Assignments within a flexible, configurable environment.
3. AI everywhere
Finally, NAM addressed how artificial intelligence is showing up more than ever throughout manufacturing planning and operations. With the recent release of ChatGPT from OpenAI, the pace of change will accelerate even more.
Beyond just automating operations, AI stands to help quickly validate new concepts, anticipate unseen market opportunities, and support shifts in demand and business models that mere mortals would have missed. Far from ‘replacing’ the workforce, AI enables teams to visualize next steps faster and navigate market uncertainty more adeptly.
YOUR READINESS RESOURCE: Propel’s Grant Bremer explains what he believes are the unsung benefits of AI and his predictions for 2023 in his article “The Upside to Artificial Intelligence: Here’s What I Know.”
Although we can’t see the future, we know that uncertainty, disruption, and the age of change are factors that won’t end anytime soon. Embracing technology models that are flexible and scalable, such as Propel Software, give manufacturers the biggest advantage moving forward.
For more potential trends to look out for this year, check out Propel’s Predictions for 2023.