Manufacturers expected to harness predictive technology 2021

By Georgia Wilson
Infosys Consulting expects to see manufacturers increasing their use of predictive technology in 2021...

With the combination of COVID-19 and the continued uncertainty of Brexit causing major challenges for the manufacturing and supply chain sectors, Rafi Billurcu, Head of Manufacturing at Infosys Consulting, believes that these disruptive events will result in firms investing in predictive AI to be better prepared for potential crises in the future.

Even if a deal is reached Billurcu believes that Brexit will be one of the major roadblocks for manufacturers in 2021. “Deal or no deal, we expect to see manufacturers struggle to drive efficiencies as a result of supply chain issues caused by shipping delays and lack of easy access to raw materials or intermediary goods,” he commented.

Coupled with the outbreak of COVID-19, the industry has faced challenges when it comes to accelerating a number of key developments in 2020. Key rollouts facing delays due to COVID-19 include 5G, this technology is expected to be key to developing industry 4.0, providing a key foundation of ultra-reliable low latency connectivity for next generation factories 

However despite these challenges causing disruption to manufacturing, Billurcu believes that developments in 2021 for manufacturers will “speed up again,” to get back to pre-COVID levels. However, to mitigate the impact of future crises Billurcu also commented that manufacturers will be considering new ways of planning for disruption. 

“These digital tools will undoubtedly play a big role in 2021, allowing manufacturers to drive operational efficiencies at scale, and help them weather the dual-sided storm of Brexit and Covid-19. A key lesson from the coronavirus crisis is to think of risk as inevitable. The use of AI tools will help bring automated insights in a fraction of a second – insights like how to manage the logistics network, how to re-route the fleet, and how to make a delivery happen. There will also be greater uptake in other digital technologies like 3D printing and blockchain, as organisations look to better prepare themselves in anticipation of future, similar black swan events,” Billurcu added.

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