A new study, "Manufacturing in 2020" by Capgemini, examines how manufacturers expect to do business in 2020. Based on responses from over 150 manufacturing companies in eight countries, the study identifies a number of key findings about possible changes in the coming years:
* Manufacturing will become increasingly global by 2020, with around 80 % of manufacturers expected to have multi-country operations, compared with just over half today.
* Supply chains will also increase in complexity and consolidate. Half the companies surveyed said they will be using fewer suppliers by 2020, but 40% said they will be using more distributors as increased competition drives them to reach new markets.
* Manufacturers appear uncertain what actions to take about green issues, but as political and social pressure increases around emissions reduction, urgent action will be required to reach 2020 targets.
* Differences between the manufacturing industries in developed and emerging markets will also continue to evolve.
"The manufacturing industry will change significantly over the next ten to twelve years, but with careful planning and preparation, manufacturers around the world can position themselves for competitive advantage," said Nick Gill, Global Manufacturing Sector Leader, Capgemini. "Closer collaboration with customers and suppliers and the systems put in place to manage this will be key to future success. In addition, manufacturers should be planning now for the upturn following the current recession and preparing for a more fluid movement of manufacturing between plants. With the complexity of the supply chain predicted to increase significantly along with greater concerns about supply chain disruption, manufacturers must ensure they have the necessary systems in place to support their business."