Last year changed many of us in various ways. As people, as business owners, we had to rethink our systems. The way we live and the way we do business. We are still adjusting or figuring it out. Some may be staying the same course as before, though doubtful, because we, as a people, have changed, therefore, whatever semblance of the before life taking place now is a faint reflection of the life that once was, for that life no longer is. May be our memory prolongs it, our desire to hold on, because we may not like the speed with which we had to rethink our new beginnings, adapt to the new, and continue a life we found ourselves living, not by design but because of the circumstances of our new reality.
This new reality has changed business as usual; we all know that. There is, however, a subtle and all at once in your face new dimension of a manufacturing reality rapidly changing the industry. This week I had the pleasure to be in the audience and listen to a leader whose day to day is intrinsically connected with the whirlwind of changes shaping this new dimension in the manufacturing industry.
It seems, according to the speaker, that the industry is either moving fast to respond to the new dimension or resisting to change. The dimension I’m speaking is the integration of software in manufacturing. This is not new. My previous work experience includes working alongside software engineers who wrote code for various functions of vehicles we now drive. Integrating software in manufacturing is the shift in rethinking manufacturing where the OEMs are now calling themselves software companies who build vehicles. This isn’t happening only in the commercial space but also in the defense space.
This shifting concept that has taken place, has become a reality; it is where manufacturing is heading. The industry is only articulating, giving a word form to reframe their own organizational thinking so it can align with their day-to-day reality and the direction in which they are heading. Naturally, this shift has affected, and it will continue to impact the supply chain. It seems, again from the speaker’s perspective, there is resistance to change. Is it worth resisting?
Perhaps, the answer may not be clear to some or many now. This also in part because the multifaceted dimensions of the manufacturing industry will continue to walk parallel for a while – we only don’t know the time span – until the critical mass will exist that will force the entire industry to shift to the new dimension it is striving to create as the next destination.
The question for many to think is: when do we change? And, if so, how? One can’t ignore it, can’t pretend the change is not happening. It has taken place. One must think critically and seriously about this new dimension changing the manufacturing industry, and equally, answer the above questions, perhaps, at first incrementally to allow the questions to sink and develop the thought process from where one can take action.
In my humble opinion, in business as in life, one must have both the will and the willingness to change if one is to move and adapt to the flow of change however that change may manifest itself, suddenly or slowly. It is the will and the willingness that propel us to think the next thought and take the next step towards new beginnings, new realities, new destinations, despite the uncertainty of stepping into the unknowns that change has opened before us.
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