If nothing else, a year of COVID-19 has taught us to expect the unexpected. Of course, manufacturers have always been highly attuned to change, but the COVID-19 pandemic hit the manufacturing industry seemingly overnight, causing deep and long-lasting impacts. A year later, we can look back and see what manufacturers have learned about how to adapt and succeed in the face of adversity.
At Universal Robots, we talk to thousands of successful, innovative manufacturers who are addressing the challenges of an uncertain world. Here are some of the proven approaches they’re taking, and that you can replicate.
Automation is the single most powerful strategy
The term VUCA refers to volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous conditions—and it’s never been more fitting. For manufacturers, automation has emerged as the single most powerful strategy for succeeding in a VUCA world, whether that’s caused by a pandemic or almost any other business challenge.
For decades, automation has helped manufacturers improve continuity, flexibility, competitiveness, productivity, and employee safety. In today’s VUCA world, manufacturers are increasingly turning to collaborative automation. Flexible, intuitive collaborative automation is a natural fit when changes occur quickly, limiting time to plan, budget, hire and train employees for new skills, or undertake extensive plant and company reconfigurations.