Top Manufacturing Trends for 2019

The following trends reflect how manufacturers plan on reaching revenue, operational, digital, and new products/services goals in 2019.


  • IT systems and operational technologies (OT) systems will converge. The merging of IT and OT systems will create smarter, connected solutions making it easier for businesses to face the increased pressure of changing customer demands (i.e.: faster fulfillment and transparency).
  • Manufacturers will evolve their business models to meet evolving customer demands. Manufacturers will need to re-evaluate their value chain to optimize performance and better meet customer expectations.
  • Intelligent Manufacturing. Technology is becoming smarter. Manufacturing and the products produced by manufacturers are driven by technology. With the cloud, IoT, AI, and machine learning delivering intelligence instantly, manufacturing supply chains will become more intelligent in 2019.
  • Manufacturing technology evolves. Innovations like autonomous devices, advanced materials, and AR/VR will gain broader adoption in 2019. With this adoption comes improved workflows, new product opportunities, and new levels of productivity and collaboration.
  • Businesses adapt to an evolving workforce. As manufacturers continue to deal with the skills gap, they must find new ways to fill critical roles. In 2019 this will include trying to sell young/tech-savvy workers on a career in manufacturing, retrain older employees, look to foreign labor, and tap the emerging gig economy to meet temporary labor demands.
  • Living in the age of uncertainty. 2018 was a year with great uncertainty, and trends suggest that 2019 will be no different. From tariffs and trade policy to data protection, manufacturers must work to bridge the gap, improve operations, provide transparency, and deliver the best products and experiences they can.

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