According to Deloitte, empowered by social networks and their digital devices, consumers are increasingly dictating what they want and when and where they want it. Consumers are now driving the demand for customization which implies the transition from traditional manufacturing to digital manufacturing is becoming essential for survival.
Some manufacturers may see this shift as a potential threat to their businesses as they are solely focused on the cost implication and not the long-term competitive benefits they will derive. This mindset is detrimental for growth and sustainability as manufacturers could run the risk of losing revenue and customer loyalty by ignoring the research predicting the shift.
Advances in digital manufacturing technologies are causing manufacturers to restructure business operations and core processes with the ability to link to resources and their supply chain. Digital manufacturing models can improve traceability in the process by connecting the production floor to digital inspections and tracking shipments. Flexible models, analytics, automation, AI, machine learning, IoT and adaptive supply chains are catalysts to increasing efficiency and enabling mass customization with little to no cost implications.