2018 is shaping up to be a good year for manufacturers. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to come in at around 2.5%. (That’s right between the 2-3% range that economists consider “healthy.”) Manufacturing is expected to slightly outpace GDP and grow by 2.8%.
The stock market is at an all-time high, indicating strong investor confidence and more money for investment. Oil prices are expected to remain low, reducing the cost of manufacturing and transportation of goods to market.
In the “it remains to be seen” category, economists argue about whether the lower corporate tax rate passed at the end of 2017 will have any long-term effect on hiring and the economy, but within days of the passage of the bill, a slate of companies announced investments and bonuses to workers at all levels.
Perhaps that is why U.S. retailers just saw the strongest holiday shopping season in seven years.
With signals pointing toward a good year, manufacturers have a decision to make.
They can enjoy the strong economy while it lasts – and pretend it will last forever - or they can look to the future and invest in technologies that will help them build a stronger organization that can prosper even if (when) the economy loses steam.
To help you consider your options, we’ve compiled The Synchrono 2018 Top Ten Trends for Modern Demand-Driven Manufacturing.
This list is based on interactions with hundreds of manufacturers and industry experts – addressing challenges, supporting innovation and introducing technologies.
Before we jump into this year’s list, let’s revisit what we mean by modern Demand-Driven Manufacturing.