As business strategies for the new year emerge, so do challenges facing manufacturing organizations- from technology adoption to macro-economic conditions, there is a large amount of uncertainty ahead in 2023.  

That’s why we asked experts Camil Bourbeau, Partner at Deloitte Digital, and David Stephens, CEO of Rootstock, about their outlook for the year in our webinar “State of ERP 2023: Future of ERP for Manufacturers” which is still available for on-demand viewing. Covering topics across technology, supply chain and smart factory, they shared their thoughts about what trends manufacturers should keep an eye out for in 2023. 

If you missed the webinar, we’ve highlighted our biggest takeaways below.  

4 Key Takeaways 

1) Economic uncertainty will continue through 2023

Much like the past three years, 2023 will be rife with macro-economic instability, challenging even the most advanced manufacturing organizations. Record inflation, scarcity of raw materials, high interest rates, an impending recession, and a consistently constricted supply chain are all going to keep manufacturers searching for better solutions.  

2) Sustaining momentum should be prioritized over growth

Due to the market conditions, organizations will need to adapt a defensive business strategy; maintaining momentum rather than experimenting with new ideas should be the core principle of 2023. 

Instead of implementing new technologies to bolster growth, organizations will need to starting thinking about how to protect their margins. All new implementations of process and technology should be focused on making a manufacturer more dynamic and cost-efficient. Unoptimized organizations will see the most challenges the longer the market is stunted.   

3) Digital transformation is more urgent than ever

Maintaining momentum requires a deep dive into current process and adapting a lean-operation framework across the board: evaluating product design, streamlining manufacturing processes, reducing G&A costs, leveraging automation, simplifying supply chain, and managing cost of quality and service.   

All these areas of improvement begin with data- but across so many departments and systems, it’s hard to see the big picture. Where data is stored, how data stored, and data accessibility and actionability become critical. 

A well implemented data management program through the way of ERP gives you the visibility to know where to invest in improvements. Data analytics will reveal where inefficiencies are and help you focus on the right issues, which is why it’s mission critical to invest in digital maturity before you’re left behind.  

4) Smart factory initiatives are fundamental to digital transformation  

For most North American manufacturing companies, physical processes that require human knowledge retention and tribal knowledge circulation is still a core tenant of day-to-day operations. As instruction pamphlets get heavier, so does the mental tax on the employees who follow them.  

Companies rely too heavily on human decision making which puts them at risk of errors. Converting physical aspects of manufacturing into data will provide information that can be leveraged by a larger group. By augmenting human knowledge with machine intelligence, organizations can deliver sustained, step-change improvements in performance and safety. 

For more on Smart Factory Initiatives, look at Deloitte’s solutions page here 

We wish the best of luck to all our friends, customers and partners in the manufacturing space in 2023! Be on the lookout for more Rootstock events on industry trends and expertise coming soon.