If we learned anything in 2020, it’s that we can’t always anticipate the future. But some of us also learned another valuable lesson. Last year we learned the necessity of making projections, and using those forecasts to adapt and orient ourselves in the midst of uncertainty.
Diversified Machine Systems (DMS) thrived in 2020, in part because we refused to merely react. Instead, we adapted. And we’re not done yet.
As we start this new year, many manufacturing trends have already started to become apparent. DMS is taking the pulse of the industry, and we have a few predictions for 2021. No one can say what the future will bring, but by being aware of the trends, we can prepare for whatever happens next.
Less Dependent, More Resilient
When COVID-19 brought everything to a halt, we all found out how dependent we were on complex systems. International trade slowed. Supply chains broke down. Industrial production decreased by 16.5 percent in the US.
In response, many manufacturing companies are pivoting to become less dependent on global supply chains. In 2021, we expect to see more companies prioritize American manufacturing—from start to finish. By diversifying and cutting out the weak links in our supply chains, manufacturers will be better prepared for bumps in the road.
While giant industries were hit hard in 2020, home projects thrived. As people spent more time at home than ever before, they looked around and realized that a few renovations might be in order.
In 2021 we expect to see a continuation of this trend, as many people continue to work from home. Small projects like these are supported by teams of manufacturers, creating the machines and tools that make them possible. The DMS Freedom Machine is an example of this kind of tool—a versatile router that is ready to take on all kinds of home projects.
A B2C Model
As manufacturing companies turn their attention to families and homes, we also see them changing their selling models from B2B to B2C. A business-to-customer model has the potential for increased profits, brand control, and faster turnaround. We predict that manufacturers will continue to interact more directly with their clients, building strong networks of trust between businesses and customers. A business-to-customer model has the potential for increased profits, brand control, and faster turnaround. We predict that manufacturers will continue to interact more directly with their clients, building strong networks of trust between businesses and customers.
With more people working remotely, businesses have seen the value of going digital. Manufacturing has traditionally prioritized an in-person work model, but companies that incorporate more digital platforms will find themselves better prepared for the future.
We expect to see more manufacturers developing their own e-commerce channels, cutting out the middle man through direct sales. Digital marketing and customer service will also ensure that manufacturers are not hampered when the workforce must stay home. According to Industry Week, “Top firms are investing nearly double the amount of their competitive peers in digital enablement tools and training, along with heavy investments in eCommerce platforms.”
Adapting to the New Year
Of course, no one can fully predict what 2021 will bring. But Diversified Machine Systems believes that if we notice trends and chart a course for the future, we will be better able to adapt when the time comes. Last year, in one of the most challenging times our company has faced, our team rose to the occasion and continued to manufacture with excellence. We expect to rise to even greater heights in 2021—and we’re confident that other manufacturers will do the same.