Manufacturing Group


Welcome to the Manufacturing Industry Group

Our IDC Manufacturing Insights community has been created to enable you to engage with our manufacturing industry analysts, share your knowledge and best practices, and connect with your colleagues.

  • Participate in the manufacturing discussions in our Blogs or Forums
  • Learn about and share best practices, tips, tricks and tools related to business/technology alignment
  • Network with your colleagues within your industry
  • Provide feedback to IDC's industry analysts and your peers

We welcome your participation! 

analysts blogging about manufacturing

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Engage with IDC Industry Analysts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the second biggest retail and ecommerce sales events globally each year (second only to Singles Day). During this time, companies would historically hire an abundance of temporary labor to ramp up their ability to move product onto their racks and move this material off of those same shelves to the customer. But, the well documented shortage of labor in many major markets, including the US, Japan, Germany, and more, has made it more difficult and more expensive to increase capacity in this manner. Companies today, however, have a new set of tools at their disposal to help ramp up capacity. Robots are helping companies more quickly adapt to short term capacity increase requirements.

With PTC's $70M acquisition of generative design software vendor Frustum announced today, and the continued focus on expanding generative design capabilities by Autodesk, Dassault Systèmes, and Siemens, manufacturers have multiple options for AI and machine learning-infused CAD and CAE (i.e. simulation).

There are a lot of reasons that organizations are turning to commercial service robotics. Topping the list of reasons for deploying commercial service robots, according to IDC's North American Commercial Service Robotics Survey, are improving productivity/efficiency, improving product service/quality, and increasing operational capacity. Indeed, these results fall in line with the organizational objectives that many firms that IDC speaks with indicate are driving their corporate strategy. Corporate strategy is often used to drive spending on technology and process improvements and commercial service robotics is a newer technology area that is delivering significant gains to those companies that have deployed robots into their operation.

Ecommerce order fulfillment and retail order fulfillment operations are facing increasing customer demands and expectations of accelerated delivery times, while simultaneously facing a challenging labor market. These market dynamics are forcing such operations to look at autonomous mobile robotic technology as a means to increase capacity, increase productivity and efficiency, reduce labor risk, and better manage the costs of operating a fulfilment center. The past several years has seen a rapid uptick in the number of vendors supplying such robots, each with some unique form, function, or other differentiating factor.

IDC's recent North American Commercial Service Robotics survey asked 600 non-manufacturing organizations what their top reasons are for deploying or planning to deploy commercial service robots in their operation. The top reason, among 17 choices, came back as improving productivity/efficiency with over 50% of respondents selecting this as a top reason they are using or considering service robots. Of course, there are many other reasons that companies are looking at robots as well, second on the list is improving product/service quality, and third is increasing operational capacity. Regardless of the reasons companies are looking at robots, the day has come where this technology is helping organizations achieve their strategic priorities.

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