In the coming months, Asia Pacific manufacturers will focus on entry into new markets, shift to new low cost manufacturing centres, and invest in connected operations for greater process efficiency, according to IDC's Manufacturing Insights arm.
With China replacing United States as Brazil and India's largest trading partners in recent years, it signifies the beginning of a shift towards an emerging market strategy among Asia Pacific manufacturers in the region.
With an increasing focus on manufacturing in low cost countries, companies will increasingly need to manage manufacturing located away from headquarter functions.
Enabling this is the improvement in bandwidth, coupled with analytic technologies, and video feeds, allowing organisations to have a direct view into their operations.
"From a technology perspective, the shift to supporting multiple plants/operations in different parts of the world is going to require the organisation to think about how they make decisions, and what information they need to make those decisions," said Dr. Christopher Holmes, Head - International, IDC Manufacturing Insights.
Getting the information from different parts of the world in a format that will allow for fast, effective decision making will be key for 2013, he added.
Holmes expects companies to focus on specific business processes as they look to improve efficiencies, and differentiate by expanding their technology footprint beyond the ERP system.
For instance, business analytics will be the new technology of choice among manufacturers as they seek to gain insights into their processes, as companies look to technology to drive the next level of process efficiency, said Holmes.
The new year will also see the growing adoption of geo-location enabled smartphones and tablets among onsite and offsite workers, noted IDC analysts. Another trend is likely to be the increased adoption of Machine to Machine (M2M) technologies on the shop floor for remote sensing and monitoring of shop floor process and equipment.
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