May 03, 2021 |

The Top Manufacturing Trends Post-Pandemic and How to Action Them

top manufacturing trends

The effects of COVID-19 were widespread and hit almost every industry. As a result, the manufacturing trends and best practices that once worked, no longer do.

Today, you’ll learn which manufacturing trends are key to success post-pandemic as well as how you can implement them. Let’s get started!

Manufacturing trends to have on your radar post-pandemic

Localize and diversify your supply chain

Very early on, the COVID-19 pandemic showed the manufacturing industry what happens when the unexpected takes place. From shipping delays to product backlogs, the production process was turned on its head.

The result? Manufacturing companies scrambled as:

  • Sales slowed down
  • Cash flow got tight
  • Industrial production halted
  • Customer frustration grew

What came next, was the realization that the manufacturing trend of offshoring was no longer the best approach. Instead, the practice of reshoring emerged full-force.

Enter reshoring

“Reshoring describes the process of bringing offshore (or ‘outsourced’) jobs back to their country of origin.”

Reshoring is a new manufacturing trend that’s set to become the gold standard for supply chain workflows. Here’s why:

  • It helps manufacturers reduce their shipping costs significantly
  • Your manufacturing production cycle gets shorter
  • Less complexity leads to more efficient supply chain management
  • Your customers get goods faster thanks to shorter delivery times

Not to mention that this manufacturing trend results in more sustainable production — something many customers today look for in the goods they buy.

“87% [of customers] would buy a product with a social and environmental benefit if given the opportunity.”

A renewed emphasis on digital transformation

From the rollout of industry 4.0 on factory floors to 3D printing and predictive maintenance, new technology is a huge manufacturing trend.

This rings even truer post-pandemic as manufacturers need to increase efficiency and optimize their manufacturing processes as much as possible.

And while some of these cutting-edge technologies may seem out of reach for your business, there are quick wins that are worth exploring.

1)    Digital inventory management

When remote work becomes reality at the drop of a hat, the need for digital inventory management is clear.

By investing in inventory management solutions that are hosted in the cloud, operations don’t have to come to a halt when key team members are out of the office or if a shelter-in-place order comes into effect.

Beyond this, this manufacturing software can automatically track inventory levels in real time so that you know what’s in stock and can reorder mission-critical products and materials ASAP.

Better yet, these tools stop your team from manually counting and adjusting inventory numbers on a weekly or monthly basis.

All in all, supporting your inventory management process with the right tech lets you:

  • Reduce the chance of backorders
  • Improve operational efficiency
  • Serve your customers better

2)    Speed up your order processing with workflow automation

The pandemic revealed just how important prompt order fulfillment is for customer satisfaction.

And when you consider that 80% of your revenue comes from just 20% of your customers, it’s clear that accelerating this process is a crucial part of your manufacturing sales strategy.

“80% of your revenue will come from just 20% of your customer base.”

This surprising stat brings us to our next manufacturing trend — workflow automation beyond the factory floor.

By leveraging workflow automation for business processes, manufacturers can:

  • Let staff focus on tasks that fuel company growth
  • Reduce the risk of human error
  • Maximize productivity
  • Drive a better bottom line

And while this manufacturing trend may sound intimidating, it’s easier to action than you’d think.

In fact, there are many easy-to-use, affordable tools on the market that make this possible with just a few clicks. One that comes to mind is Method:CRM.

As a fully customizable software, Method:CRM empowers manufacturers to use workflow automation in a way that reflects their exact business processes.

If you’re curious about the impact of this manufacturing trend, you can learn how workflow automation saved one wholesaler over $100,000 annually here.

Recap: How to action post-pandemic manufacturing trends

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 turned the best practices manufacturers use upside down. Luckily, there are many ways manufacturers can ensure their success post-pandemic.

Here’s a recap of our favorites:

  • Manufacture domestically to increase your supply chain’s stability, efficiency, and simplicity
  • Optimize your inventory control and management process with cloud solutions
  • Maximize your productivity by automating workflows across your business

For more insights on top manufacturing trends, watch this free webinar from industry experts!


Eilis McCann is the Content Marketing Manager at Method — the #1 CRM for QuickBooks users. She loves to create content that gives readers new insights and helps small businesses succeed. In her spare time, you can find her dancing at concerts, hanging with friends, and trying out new restaurants!

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