Innovation, safety and geographic expansion dominated the discussion at this year’s National Manufacturing Week.
Manufacturing is one of Australia’s leading industries, contributing approximately $100 billion to GDP annually and employing over 900,000 people. As a leading advisor to mid-size manufacturing businesses across Australia, Grant Thornton is at the forefront of industry developments. Here are our three key take-outs from the National Manufacturing Week.
Innovation: the core of manufacturing
Manufacturing remains one of the world’s most dynamic sectors, with innovative thinking and developments shaping the future of the industry in Australia and overseas. This year’s exhibition hosted the world’s largest 3D printing exhibit. Incorporating the Internet of Things into the design process, the importance of R&D investment in the sector was clear.
With innovation increasingly fuelled by market research and big data, manufacturers are growing more reliant on IT systems that provide end-to-end customer data analysis, operations and stock management capabilities. They are also migrating towards more cost-efficient, cloud-hosted applications which allow them to connect to operational sites around the world in real time.
Safety first: promoting a culture of risk awareness
Improving workplace safety remains a top priority, with manufacturers intent on streamlining processes, investing in automatisation and building a culture of awareness and risk management.
“There is a clear correlation between investments in automated processes and tools and ROI, especially when accompanied by regular safety training. To reach employees across multiple sites companies are taking advantage of technology platforms enabling knowledge sharing and live web conferencing”, said Ryan Pollett, Grant Thornton’s Manufacturing, Wholesale and Distribution NSW State Leader.
Spanning borders for sustainable growth
There is an increased focus on emerging markets across Asia, both in terms of potential relocation of new production sites and to boost exports. A recent Grant Thornton research report shows a clear correlation between a focus on exports and faster growth.
While relocation or diversification into emerging markets can lift revenue and reduce costs, it also poses operational challenges. Managing efficient operations and quality production overseas relies on flexible systems with advanced reporting capabilities. A growing number of mid-size manufacturers are opting for cloud-based applications customised to their needs and provide the flexibility and cost-efficiency of license-based use.
With its dynamic expos and forward-looking focus, the National Manufacturing Week reflects a dynamic industry using new technology to take quality manufacturing into the future, while maintaining a focus on safety and quality.
For more information please contact your usual Grant Thornton advisor, or:
Manufacturing, Wholesale and Distribution NSW State Leader
T +61 2 9286 5532
Partner - Growth Advisory
T +61 2 8297 2429