Thoughts from Hanover Messe 2022 - 3 things manufacturers can consider
- Posted on July 5, 2022
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Hannover Messe wrapped up a few weeks ago, and after enjoying a little R&R following the show, I wanted to share a few thoughts about some of the key top topics that emerged from my conversations with a number of large manufacturers, industry insiders, thought leaders and solution providers.
Plus, waiting a few weeks gave me the opportunity to host a great conversation with two of the brightest minds in Manufacturing, Paul Miller, Principal Analyst from Forrester and Colin Masson Global Manufacturing Marketing Executive from Microsoft! I encourage you to watch the 3 of us share our Hannover Messe experiences here.
My 3 key takeaways from Hannover Messe 2022:
It’s all about the worker: A shortage of skilled workers, especially digitally skilled workers, is a primary concern for manufacturers. The war for talent is still raging and many manufacturers aren’t winning it. The manufacturing executives I spoke too aren’t interested in digital technologies that replace workers; rather, they are looking to deploy digital technologies to augment and enhance the capabilities of the workforce they have.
They are using XR to extend the capabilities of their existing workers through remote assistance and immersive learning experiences. They are delivering low code/no code solutions to empower their employees with the tools and information they need to perform their roles as efficiently as possible, and they are creating inclusive, collaborative workplaces so they can capture and implement innovation and improvements that their employees tell them are the most impactful.
It’s time for action on sustainability and responsible manufacturing: “Sustainability” and “Responsible Manufacturing” have been in the conversation for manufacturers for several years, but unfortunately, that’s too often just what it’s been-a conversation. I was thrilled to hear that the vast majority of manufacturers I spoke with have started the move from conversation to action. Data, and the insight it provides, plays a critical role in this movement.
I talked to many manufacturers who are using data driven Digital Twins to optimize energy and water usage in their factories, creating supply chain twins and control towers to identify where they can reduce supply chain emissions and ensure fair labor practices are being followed throughout their supply chains, and advanced analytics, AI and ML to ensure they are providing safe, healthy and inclusive workplaces for their employees.
The Metaverse isn’t as far away as you may think: I can’t count the number of questions I received about “The Metaverse”. Most of them were what you would expect in the early stages of an emerging technology, such as; “what is the Metaverse” and “how are manufacturers really using the metaverse”. But I also had several conversations with manufacturers who are already deploying metaverse use cases. For example, one uses the metaverse to interview potential employees as a way of highlighting their commitment to ensuring their employees will work with leading technologies, another is using it to train and onboard more than 150,000 employees, and a 3rd has committed $100 million over the next 3 years to identify and scale metaverse use cases.
While we are early in embracing the Metaverse at scale, the potential is massive, and think it helps to think about The Metaverse today like we thought about the internet 20 or so years ago. In the early days of the internet, a few key “themes” or use cases emerged: the early internet was a great way for engaging clients and potential clients in a new way, especially educating the market about your company and products. The Metaverse offers a completely unique, powerful and engaging way of interacting with your customers.
The internet was a great way for bringing people together (remember how big chat rooms were!). The same applies today - the Metaverse can deliver a completely unique and immersive gathering experience, whether that’s conducting a conference for your customers or training your employees. And there was one company that decided that the internet would probably be a good place to do business. To facilitate commerce. We know that company today as Amazon. I can’t wait to see who will become the Amazon of the Metaverse-it might be Amazon, but it just might be someone like the company who is already investing $100 million to flush out use cases and POCs. One thing is certain Manufacturers will as always be at the forefront of this latest innovation to help them provide better solutions for their clients.
I’m super excited to see how these trends play out over the next year, and already looking forward to returning to Hannover Messe in 2023.