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Manufacturers Predicted to Get Serious About '3D' Value Chains in 2014

Building 3D value chains is perhaps the first among the top 10 trends that analysts at IDC Manufacturing Insights see for the manufacturing sector in 2014.

Analysts Robert Parker, Heather Ashton, Sheila Brennan, Simon Ellis, Kimberly Knickle, Pierfrancesco Manenti, and Amy Rowell teamed recently to provide insight and perspective on long-term industry trends along with new themes that may be on the horizon. The other nine trends they see for next year are:

• Prediction #2: Operational, information and consumer technology converge to reshape approaches to technology management

• Prediction #3: Operational resiliency will be the focus of supply chain strategies in 2014 and beyond

• Prediction #4: Supply chain technology investment will involve modernizing existing systems, while also trying new approaches

• Prediction #5: The modernization of the underlying B2B commerce backbone becomes an investment priority for IT

• Prediction #6: Product lifecycle management strategies become increasingly global, multidisciplinary, innovation-based, and customer-focused

• Prediction #7: PLM initiatives will focus on value realization

• Prediction #8: "Servitization optimization" will be core to future profitable revenue growth and leading manufacturers will make the necessary investments to enable these strategies

• Prediction #9: On their way towards the factory of the future, 2014 will set the stage for a new manufacturing renaissance

• Prediction #10: Plant floor IT investments will continue to become a higher share of the overall technology investment portfolio

“The manufacturing industry has an established track record of continuously improving productivity and is at the cusp of a new wave of gains that will dramatically restructure value chains to be closer to demand regardless of direct labor costs. This is being driven by an 'intelligent economy' where customers are more informed, talent is at a premium, and the time to react to changes is compressed,” said Parker, group vice president and general manager, IDC Manufacturing Insights. “In 2014, companies should put together a set of business initiatives across critical line-of-business areas such as supply chain, factory operations, product management, and customer experience/aftermarket services, and follow a progression toward the principles of the '3D' value chain, the theme for our 2014 predictions.”

Source: IDC Manufacturing Insights

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