Tech helped manufacturing companies get through the worst of the pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on manufacturers everywhere, but with a little help from technology, they have been able to tweak their operations successfully. This is according to a new report from Google Cloud, which argues that manufacturing businesses are now a lot better prepared for the pandemic (and any that might arise in future).

Polling 1,154 senior manufacturing executives in France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Japan, South Korea and the US, the company found that many manufacturers were forced to pivot their operating models and supply chain strategies in order to continue operating during the pandemic.

The majority had to re-evaluate their operating model strategies, mostly because they were left unable to collaborate with employees and value chain partners effectively. Furthermore, they realized they didn’t have the right tech to operate without a large number of on-site workers.

According to respondents, technology played “the most critical role” in helping them survive the pandemic, with data and analytics, digital productivity tools and public cloud platforms taking center stage. 3D printing/additive manufacturing, Internet of Things, and augmented or virtual reality, were all deployed to assist the manufacturers as well.

Now, as we move into the second calendar year of the pandemic, manufacturers feel prepared to successfully navigate the new normal, as well as future pandemics.

“What makes Covid-19 so unique is its sustained nature that touches the supply chain, irrespective of geographical location, in a way we haven’t seen in our lifetime,” said Bob Parker, a senior analyst at IDC.

“As a result, we’re seeing an urgency from manufacturers to quickly put the right technological levers in place, sooner rather than later. While there may have only been initial conversations about digital transformation in the past, we’re now seeing a rapid acceleration of critical tools and technologies being adopted within the industry.”

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