Manufacturers have also been restricted by resources. They have had to fit complex products into a large manufacturing chain, and this limits their flexibility in product creation. Yet, one of the greatest manufacturing trends has arisen in custom product development. This is also referred to as “small batches,” and it is exactly what the name implies. These are shorter and smaller production runs that have often been grossly altered from what the manufacturer can typically provide. Due to the changes, the runs are smaller (to reduce risk) and the orders are not often as expansive. In short, small batches are made for smaller customers looking for something a little different.
This would not have been likely just a few decades ago. But, a few massive changes in the manufacturing industry have allowed for such an explosive change of course. The differences have to do with big data and the onset of mobile as not just a preference but a sweeping shift in data accessibility.
Big Data is Changing Everything
Big data is really where the fundamental shifts begin. Big data allows for massive data caps, for beyond what even experts predicted a decade ago. This has a lot to do with cloud storage. Manufacturers are offsetting their less prioritized information to cloud resources. It is creating a huge opportunity in cloud computing. It is also allowing for data storage far beyond what a small manufacturer ever expected.
The second major development, and cause for this shift in custom products, is mobile. Manufacturers can access their data from a multitude of channels. It could be as easy as an app on an iPad. Mobile design can also help allocate what people can see and from what device. Each device could have its own entry or list of tasks in which it can do. Mobile is dominating the conversation in manufacturing because it allows for virtually unlimited entry points. Get in and get out.
There are many other manufacturing industry trends, including custom development. The world has not seen the latest large shift in manufacturing, but it is certainly seeing what could be the biggest.