The COVID-19 pandemic has had overwhelming impacts on our economy, not to mention the impact on lives and personal wellness. The critical lack of medical equipment to treat and protect those affected highlights the over-reliance of United States manufacturing sector on overseas production. The offshoring issue extends beyond current pandemic concerns, however, reaching far larger and more permanent concerns over industrial supply chains, worker training and even national security.
The 2019 Manufacturing and Logistics National Report shows how each state ranks among its peers in several areas of the economy that underlie the success of manufacturing and logistics. These specific measures include: manufacturing and logistics industry health, human capital, cost of worker benefits, diversification of the industries, state-level productivity and innovation, expected fiscal liability, tax climate, and global reach.
For manufacturing enterprises, the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) will reshape the source of value creation, the formation of new business models, and the delivery of value-added services such as mass customization, predictive maintenance, and “product servitization”. As AI becomes more prevalent in various aspects of business management and operations, investing in people will become even more important.
Smart manufacturing depends critically on information governance: rules (formal and informal) concerning the collection, flow, and analysis of information, often in digital form. To explore information governance issues in depth, the Manufacturing Policy Initiative at Indiana University hosted a roundtable event in Washington, DC, with executives from nearly 20 manufacturers. Policy experts from academia were asked to contribute to papers on specific topics including AI in manufacturing.
Many companies are piloting Fourth Industrial Revolution initiatives in manufacturing, but few have managed to integrate Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies at scale to realize significant economic and financial benefits. The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with McKinsey & Company, scanned more than 1,000 leading manufacturers. Subsequent outreach enabled visits to the most advanced sites and identification of the few factories that are true guiding lights.