The Australian manufacturing industry is under stress due to rising energy prices, unfavourable government policies and having recently confronted its own version of the ‘Dutch Disease’. Prevailing negative perceptions of the industry has also resulted in a lost generation of skilled employees resulting in a black hole of lost innovation and ideas. Unless there is a shift, Australia will lose a significant driver towards an advanced economy, forcing most small to medium manufacturers into extinction leaving only a select few companies viable enough to support a local industry.
Despite influences moving against it, we view the Australian manufacturing as not only having a bright and sustainable future, but one well placed to be a major global player. On the horizon is an increasingly enabled digital-circular economy that integrates artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and fog computing. These technologies will redefine manufacturing capabilities including design, systems integration, machine to machine interfacing, electrical innovation, human factors, production and management. Coupled with this are strategies and processes that target efficiencies and repurposing within the industry’s value chain such as refurbishment, recycling and repairing that together are forging a whole new industry called ‘remanufacturing’. For such a transformation to work successfully will require focussed leadership, organisational transformation, enterprise wide consciousness, collaboration and institutionalised innovation. Our services can facilitate this type of transformation at scale, allowing firms to make evidence based decisions, creating a sustainable and manageable journey towards new capabilities and a new and prosperous future.