How Technology is Transforming Manufacturing.

Technology has always played an integral role within the manufacturing industry. From the design process to manufacturing and logistics, technology has helped the entire industry evolve. As demand increased, technological advancements in conjunction with low-wage workers primed countries like China and India to become the manufacturing hub of the world.

Over the years, advanced technologies such as robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing, cloud computing, and the internet of things have fundamentally transformed the manufacturing process and industry. Modern communication and other breakthrough technologies helped increase operational efficiency, strengthen relationships between stakeholders, as well as streamline the production process.

Although these technologies have played a major role in evolving the sector, the development of the offshore manufacturing industry has created an imbalance in the global supply chain.

This imbalance needs to be carefully managed to avoid bottlenecks and global shortages.

Internal supply chain reliance on China and India

The last few decades have cemented Asia as the manufacturing centre of the world. With brilliant logistical networks, reliable infrastructure, and low-wage workforces, countries such as China and India are positioned perfectly to manufacture and supply goods to the world.

Both China and India have incredible competitive advantages over the rest of the world that also help them maintain their status within the manufacturing industry.

With a pool of highly skilled engineers and scientists at their disposal, these countries are both skilled and efficient throughout the entire manufacturing process.

The manufacturing capabilities of China and India do not start and end with cheap consumer goods. The world relies heavily on China for a variety of products that include steel, computer products, textiles, clothes, accessories, mobile devices, integrated circuits, and a wide range of medical supplies.

Although the partnership between the world and these Asian countries has been successful, this reliance has become increasingly risky over the last few years.

With political influence on both sides taking strong stances in opposite directions, the relationship between China and the West can invertedly affect much of the US economy by disrupting the established supply chain.

The long and successful manufacturing partnership between these countries and the world makes it increasingly difficult to shift away from the existing supply chain. This is because there are no immediate replacements available. In this way, countries such as China and India have a distinct advantage over countries that depend on them during any diplomatic negotiations.

With this being said, diversification and diplomacy form the best strategy for countries to use to avoid bottlenecks and other supply chain interruptions

Domestic vs low-cost manufacturing centres

Making the choice of where to manufacture your goods can be a complicated process. Choosing to produce goods locally or overseas comes with various risks and rewards making it a strategic decision that does not fit every business case. In addition to this, technology and advancements in global logistics have contributed to bridging the gap to help international manufacturers stay competitive.