It was over 200 years ago that the world went through the first industrial revolution where work transitioned primarily from manual labor performed by people to the use of machine tools and steam powered engines. Since then, we have gone three more industrial revolutions: The early 20th century steel and electricity, Late 1950’s computerized machinery technology, and finally where we are today, the fourth industrial revolution known as the internet of things (IoT) revolution, or industry 4.0.
But where do we go from here? What does the rest of this decade look like in the manufacturing and industrial machinery world?
Internet of Things (IoT)
The biggest trend right now in the manufacturing world is coming from the internet of things (IoT). Manufacturers are adding more connectivity within their machines than ever before, allowing them to monitor and provide updates to their machines without having a technician go on-site. Covid-19 breathed more life into these solutions as it allowed more remote work to be performed on machines as well.
Now manufacturers can monitor their machines and intervene when they detect a malfunction with the machine or any potential issues before something serious happens and the company is stuck with a large repair bill. It seems that manufacturers want to move to the service model and get their users to sign up for re-occurring subscriptions as much as possible. Which may lead to some back lash against them from users who want to repair the machines themselves and not pay a monthly service fee.
Business to Consumer
Another large trend, big manufacturers are trying to steer into for this decade is moving away from Business to Business (B2B) and getting more into the Business to Consumer (B2C). When a manufacturer starts selling to a large distributor for example, or a large retail store, they lose a significant amount of profit and data on their consumers.
That’s why many manufacturers are investing heavily into user-friendly ecommerce platforms that integrate into their website. Avoiding distribution channels allows them to engage more directly with their customers, which in return allows them to market their maintenance subscription models on their new machines better, and get more repeat business. Manufacturers that will succeed in this area in the years to come will need to invest in customer service, sales, marketing and their online ecommerce platform.
We’ve all heard it a thousand times before: “Big Data” is a daily household term these days. Everyone knows our “Big Tech” companies like Facebook and Google hold huge amounts of data on their consumers, but now it’s time for the manufacturing world to step into the Big Data world and collect data from their machines.
With sensors being installed in every part of the machine, manufacturers can pick up on trends across all their customers and detect new machinery trends before they go mainstream. They can use that data to better target customers and improve their machines.
Onshore vs offshore has been a hot topic for the past 20 years, with many companies choosing the latter. But after COVID-19, that perspective have shifted for a lot of companies. With the cost of transportation continuing to rise, global trade shutdowns due to pandemics, new tax incentives to produce onshore, and more AI solutions which negates the high labor cost in the USA, more companies are choosing to remain onshore for their manufacturing.
However, too many of these companies still rely on small parts or computer chips that are put in their machines but are manufactured offshore. That is why you are seeing more delays for newer machinery today and a huge demand for used machinery. It should be interesting to see what companies do to find a solution for the current lack of small parts and computer chips in the USA, but many experts believe AI and robots are the future of this sector and will bring a lot of supply chain options to the U.S.
Due to the new machinery shortage, the used machinery market is experiencing one of the hottest markets it’s had in the 21st century. It still remains to be seen how long this will last, but many believe it will go on for at least another year due to how backed up the world supply chains are from the pandemic. While it may be difficult right now for machinery dealers to stock up on machines due to the high demand causing high prices for machines, many believe it will smooth out over 2022.
One of the best perks about being a Surplus Record dealer and the most inexpensive ways to acquire machinery in a market like today is through the exclusive access into machines being sold by end users through the Wanted & For Sale bulletin board. If you’re not signed up to receive these leads, contact us today!