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Back to the Future: Manufacturing Beyond Covid-19. Key Findings for a Resilient Manufacturing Sector in the New Normal

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Back to the Future: Manufacturing Beyond Covid-19

Key Findings for a Resilient Manufacturing Sector in the New Normal

How manufacturing companies are responding to the Covid-19 pandemic has taken centre stage at the 2020 World Manufacturing Forum.

The Back to the Future: Manufacturing Beyond Covid-19 project brought together 13 focus groups comprising over 160 experts from more than thirty countries to discuss how manufacturing is impacted by the ongoing pandemic and what could be key recommendations to be implemented to help the sector take on the various challenges it is facing. Each focus group analysed a specific topic centred on one of four main themes: People, Policy, Preparedness, and Productivity.

Thanks to this collaboration, the World Manufacturing Foundation has outlined a set of Key Findings that should be considered to make the manufacturing sector more resilient in the New Normal.

Given the scale of the challenges the sector is facing, a coordinated approach needs to focus on people, requires the development of agile supply chains, and leverages on the potential of digital technologies. This must be supported by policies at all levels of government focused on making the sector more competitive in the long-term as well as better prepared to similar crises in the future.

The World Manufacturing Foundation has outlined the following Key Findings for a Resilient Manufacturing Sector in the New Normal:

 

  1.  The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated industrial smart-working but challenges within manufacturing need to be overcome
  2.  The pandemic has increased the importance of certain types of skills
  3.  Job losses are affecting women disproportionately, renewing calls for gender equality in manufacturing
  4.  The scale of the pandemic calls for more inclusive decision making
  5.  Policies should be focused in building resilient global value chains
  6.  SMEs are among the most severely affected and need to be supported
  7.  Regions have an important role to play to support the manufacturing community in their territories
  1.  The pandemic has accelerated the demand for digital experiences among consumers
  2.  New approaches to demand management will be crucial to build resilient supply chains
  3.  Sourcing locally increased in importance as manufacturers aim for uninterrupted production
  4.  Manufacturing clusters are instrumental in fostering collaboration among actors to improve
    response to the pandemic
  5.  Companies with higher levels of digitalisation have responded better to the crisis
  6.  Industry 4.0 Technologies have proved to be very valuable in responding to the crisis
  7.  Companies must re-evaluate existing business models or seek new ones to be more resilient