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FUTURE OF MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY What manufacturing will look like in 2022

Jan 5, 2022

With the after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturing companies are looking to keep up productivity with reduced manpower. And even if India encounters its third COVID-19 wave, the manufacturing industry is unwavered & trying to rise above supply chain and labour challenges. So, with the current scenario and after making it through nearly two years of the coronavirus pandemic, the opinion feature tells us what 2022 holds for the manufacturing industry.

As COVID-19 regulations ease and manufacturing activity rebounds, to stay one step ahead of industry trends and keep pace with the competition, manufacturers must remain nimble and find ways to speedily respond to customer demand. While 2021 has proved to be both energetic and disruptive for the manufacturing industry, manufacturers are still on the road to recovery from the effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in its 2022 Industrial Development Report (IDR), states that three important megatrends expected to shape the post-pandemic landscape are digitalisation, production rebalancing and industrial greening, and highlights that countries must take these megatrends into consideration when making recovery strategies. As automation increases, so does the threat to cyber security. According to the UK National Cyber Security Centre, there were three times as many ransomware attacks in the first quarter of 2021 as there were in the whole of 2019. And research by PwC suggests that 61% of technology executives expect this to increase in 2022. Manufacturers should not only consider improving their cyber defences but also maintaining business resiliency on the off-chance of a cyber attack.

Besides, with the growing attention towards carbon neutrality & industrial greening, countries need to quicken the move to a green industrial sector and to transform their energy systems. In fact, with the COP26, this is a critical moment to spur industrial decarbonisation.

Further, in 2022, there will be continual efforts to solve and manage the on-going supply chain issues. Manufacturing companies are dealing with distribution postponements, mainly for international supply chain networks. According to Bloomberg, the cost of transporting a container from Asia to Europe has risen tenfold since 2020. What’s more, customers will expect unified digital experiences. This means that companies must guarantee that nurturing such experiences is a part of their digital transformation task and approach. And for that there are technologies that allow the customer to feel & understand products virtually, for example, 3D modelling.

But it’s not just the technologies that will be evolving in 2022. We are also seeing the world open up and new events & exhibitions taking place in certain parts around the globe.

In spite of all this, the Indian manufacturing industry must focus on the opportunities at hand in 2022, which are mainly digitalisation, localisation and expansion. Once seen as ‘nice to have’ or ‘something for tomorrow’, digital technologies have become more dependable and conventional. Although the losses during the pandemic were uncountable, the industry has learnt a lot, too and can now be better prepared to enter the next year with better grounding.

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