The world is transitioning into the next generation industrial revolution. As competition across markets intensifies, the differential edge is now moving up the value chain, into outcomes from manufacturing. We are talking of quality, which is gradually becoming less of a differentiator among brands, cost efficiencies in manufacturing, proximity to markets and key vendor locations, and supply chain possibilities. All this is the result of the new thinking, viz., global manufacturing.
With brands growing across the world, gone are the days when the worldwide demand for a particular brand’s products could be met from a single facility. Increased global demand in areas like consumer goods makes it possible for MNCs to consider global manufacturing strategies.
This emerging paradigm of global manufacturing is prompting governments across the world to become proactive and compete to become most preferred manufacturing hubs. Far sighted leaders realize the importance of achieving this. Consequently, political decisions are taken to create favorable policies and swift action is taken to put in place a comprehensive infrastructure backbone.
“Make in India” is a perfect example. It is a grand, integrated strategy that is focused on global corporations with a very clear value proposition: invitation to set up strategic manufacturing base/s in India. It is a proactive initiative, since it addresses the issues as a decision maker sees, and ticks off one by one in a compelling manner.
The benefits of a strong focus on macro manufacturing have far reaching significance. Apart from creating attractive job opportunities, stable manufacturing organizations can deliver market leading products at competitive prices through cost efficiency. Such firms also become thought leaders through their best practices.
So, what would be the priorities for India to become the manufacturing hub of choice? Here are a few pointers:
- Infrastructure: Without an enabling environment, India’s impressive pedigree could mean little. So, the basics need attention first. We are talking of water, power and communication lines.
- Availability of resource: Access to abundant resource is perhaps the primary factor. While this is India’s strategic differentiator, we must invest in building resource centers that can nurture rare skills that are in demand.
- Logistics: Land, rail and air connectivity to key customer locations and vendor locations are important.
- Continuity and linear policies: Uncertainty drives business away. So, nations need to provide stable investment climate, wherein innovation can thrive.
- Digital: This is the most discernable feature of manufacturing 2020. Engineers will have the freedom to control production lines and quality from wherever they are. The connected enterprise of 2020 will seamlessly connect the functional areas of the enterprise through the Internet. The challenge of integrating IT with core business will help create responsive business models of a higher order.
Manufacturing 2020 scenario will raise the expectations of manufacturers and consumers alike. Businesses, governments, citizens and consumers worldwide are awaiting the fruits of synergies from Manufacturing 2020.