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Amid Disruptions, COVID’s Created Opportunity, Survey Finds

A report from Fictiv shows a nearly universal trend among senior decision makers in healthcare, robotics and other industries prioritizing digital transformation and emphasizing supply chain stability.

Supply chain resilience is important to 99% of respondents, and 96% are working to increase their supply chain agility.

A 2020 State of Manufacturing Report from Fictiv (a parts manufacturer in San Francisco) reveals industry leaders are grappling with fallout from the pandemic while eyeing new opportunities created by the disruption.

Key findings include:

  • 89% report a direct business impact because of COVID-19 including lower sales, increased costs of materials and production, and canceled or delayed product launches.
  • Only 17% gave top marks to their supply chain’s performance over the last year.
  • A majority are revisiting their reliance on China and looking to the U.S. as the next key manufacturing center.
  • Nearly all (97%) said COVID-19 has created new opportunities, with 87% making digital transformation a high priority.
  • Supply chain resilience is important to 99% of respondents, with 96% working to increase supply chain agility.

“COVID-19 is a clear point of demarcation in the industry, accelerating the transition from traditional supply chains and manufacturing to a digitally-enabled future,” said Fictiv CEO Dave Evans. “This deep dive reveals an opportunity for those industries most profoundly impacted by the physical realities of the virus to iterate faster with finer tolerances and higher quality using digital manufacturing advances. We believe OEMs can rely on digital manufacturing partners to bridge this digital transformation gap and overcome the overwhelmingly complex and costly mandate of necessary digital advancement.”

Conducted with Dimensional Research, the fifth annual manufacturing industry report polled hundreds of senior manufacturing and supply chain decision makers at companies producing medical device, robotics, automotive, aerospace, and consumer electronics products. Key themes from the report found:

COVID-19 Has Negatively Harmed Most Businesses (89%) and Industries

  • Sales are down 44%, cost of materials and components have increased 41%, and production times have lengthened 41%.
  • 36% have had to lay off good employees; and 24% have been unable to fill customer orders.

Digital and AI Advances are Important, But Funding Still Lags

  • 87% have a high priority digital transformation initiative: Reducing cost (46%), increasing supply chain visibility (42%), and driving efficiencies (40%) are some of the top goals for these digital efforts.
  • Yet, only 14% believe their digital transformation initiative is well funded, and 81% face difficulty finding necessary expertise.

Supply Chains Will Look Different, But China Remains an Option

  • 83% agree COVID-19 has been an extreme test of their supply chain.
  • 84% say they will be more cautious about offshoring now than in the past; but while many (73%) will minimize reliance on China. 74% will continue to source some parts from the region.

“While many businesses will examine reshoring as part of their future supply chain, China continues to offer important advantages in infrastructure and manufacturing talent – making it a stable part of any supply chain ecosystem,” said Fictiv COO Jean Olivieri. “The opportunity for supply chain executives will be to introduce digital and AI capabilities through partners and investment that can build an agile, resilient supply chain able to flex across geographies and demand in real-time and with complete transparency.”

Download a full copy of the 2020 State of Manufacturing Report here.



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