Rootstock Software Analyzes 2023 vs. 2024 Manufacturing Technology Trends: Are Manufacturers Progressing or Falling Behind?

Operational efficiency takes center stage as manufacturers navigate economic uncertainty

San Ramon, CA (June 20, 2024) - Following its 2024 State of Manufacturing Technology Survey, Rootstock Software, a leader in the Manufacturing ERP space, announces a series of follow-up analyses comparing 2023 and 2024 results. This analysis sheds light on the evolving priorities and challenges within the manufacturing sector, highlighting significant shifts in IT investment goals, the impact of economic conditions, and the progression of their digital transformation journeys.


"The comparison between 2023 and 2024 survey results highlights the rapidly changing landscape of manufacturing technology," said Stu Johnson, VP of Product Marketing at Rootstock Software (https://www.rootstock.com/author/stu-johnson/). "With the increasing focus on operational efficiency and the integration of AI, manufacturers are now more aware than ever of the need to stay ahead of the curve. At Rootstock, we're committed to providing the ERP and AI solutions that matter to manufacturers, so they're able to navigate changes and achieve their digital transformation goals."

Rootstock is performing a series of analyses of the 2023 versus 2024 State of Manufacturing Technology Survey Results (https://clouderp.rootstock.com/rootstock-state-of-manufacturing-survey), which highlight a dynamic and evolving industry. In part 1 of this series, Rootstock unveils the following insights:

SHIFTING PRIORITIES IN MANUFACTURING IT INVESTMENTS

In comparing year-to-year results, there's a marked shift in manufacturing IT investment priorities. In 2023, cybersecurity topped the list, with 29.3% of manufacturers emphasizing its importance. However, 2024 saw a paradigm shift with 41% of respondents now prioritizing the enhancement of operational and production performance. This significant increase underscores a growing focus on improving efficiency and productivity through IT solutions, like Rootstock Manufacturing ERP (https://www.rootstock.com/manufacturing-erp-software/), having a data cloud for manufacturing, and AIRS™ (AI from Rootstock).

Cybersecurity drops to the second highest priority in 2024, reflecting ongoing awareness of cyber threats. Interestingly, the emphasis on sustainability which held third place in 2023 at 27.4%, has shifted in 2024 to what manufacturers now view as a more pressing issue—reducing operational and product costs, at 30%. These changes highlight the continuous pressure on manufacturers to enhance profit margins and remain competitive in today's challenging economic environment.

NAVIGATING ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY: SUPPLY CHAIN & DEMAND FLUCTUATIONS

Economic headwinds and tailwinds continue to affect manufacturers' perceptions of risks and opportunities. In 2023, concerns were predominantly around supplier reliability (34.6%) and transportation/logistics reliability (33.3%). In 2024, there is even higher concern over supplier reliability, which has risen to 39%. This ongoing issue points to persistent supply chain challenges exacerbated by economic instability.

There has also been a notable shift in concerns over customer demand. While 2023 saw a 23% anticipation of increased demand and a 12.6% concern for decreased demand, 2024 reflects an almost evenly split view with 33% expecting demand increases and 36% anticipating decreases. This sentiment underscores heightened market uncertainty and the need for manufacturers to develop strategies, like having a Manufacturing Signal Chain Decisioning Platform (https://www.rootstock.com/manufacturing-signal-chain/), to navigate potential economic fluctuations.

ASSESSING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: THE CURVE SHIFTS WITH AI ADVANCEMENTS

An analysis of digital transformation maturity presents an eye-opening view of manufacturers' self-assessment. In 2023, a majority of manufacturers felt they were ahead of their peers, with 40% slightly ahead and 17.7% far ahead. However, 2024 reveals a more tempered view. Only 24% feel slightly ahead and 8% far ahead. This trend shows a growing recognition of the complexities involved in maintaining a leading position in digital transformation, especially with ongoing advancements around AI-driven capabilities.

Conversely, the percentage of organizations feeling slightly behind or far behind has increased significantly going from 11% to 21% and from 1.2% to 8%, respectively. This shift suggests that technology gaps are widening.

In addition, the percentage of those feeling on par with peers has remained relatively stable, rising slightly from 30.1% to 39%. However, this increase is at the expense of those who previously felt ahead and now feel they've fallen back as the relative scope of advancements has moved further out with AI innovations. This is one of the reasons Rootstock launched its AIRS Center of Excellence (https://www.rootstock.com/press-releases/rootstock-debuts-airs-cutting-edge-ai-for-manufacturers/). Staffed with experienced data scientists, this center can help customers create custom AI data models to drive their decisioning initiatives.

Insights from this comparative analysis of the 2023 and 2024 State of Manufacturing Technology Survey highlight a dynamic and evolving landscape. Amid these conditions, Rootstock remains committed to supporting manufacturers with cutting-edge ERP and AI solutions that address these challenges and drive innovation.

For complete 2024 survey findings, check out Rootstock's study here: https://clouderp.rootstock.com/rootstock-state-of-manufacturing-survey. And tune into Rootstock's press releases, where additional parts of this comparative analysis will be announced: https://www.rootstock.com/news/press-releases/.

METHODOLOGY
In partnership with Researchscape (https://researchscape.com/), Rootstock conducted this 2024 research via an online survey fielded in February to April 2024. There were 508 respondents to the survey across 14 countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States) leading "digital transformation" in companies with revenues of $10 million or more.

ABOUT ROOTSTOCK
Rootstock Software (https://www.rootstock.com/) provides the leading Manufacturing Cloud ERP, which empowers hundreds of manufacturers to turbocharge their operations in today's dynamic, post-pandemic world. Natively built on the Salesforce Platform, Rootstock delivers a futureproof solution. With it, manufacturers gain the agility to continually transform their businesses to meet evolving customer needs, navigate emerging challenges, and accelerate success. In addition, the "connectability" of Rootstock Cloud ERP gives manufacturers 360° visibility to collaborate with suppliers, trading partners, and the broader value chain. As Rootstock continues to grow, stay tuned to the company's latest LinkedIn posts (https://www.linkedin.com/company/2389168/admin/feed/posts/).

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