Global client survey shows positive upturn in manufacturing in the wake of COVID-19

InfinityQS’ 2020 Global Client Survey reveals three-quarters of manufacturers are now working remotely and reporting they are ‘optimistic toward the future’

Green shoots of recovery are emerging within the manufacturing sector, as evident in new findings from InfinityQS’ 2020 Global Client Survey. The results show a positive upturn in the industry, with nearly 74% of respondents reporting that they are optimistic toward the future. These manufacturers are adapting and rebounding in the wake of the pandemic, adopting new technologies and processes for managing production and controlling quality, including 75% who noted more of their workers are now working remotely.

Adopting technologies

To enable this remote work and build greater flexibility and resiliency into their processes, manufacturers are rapidly adopting technologies, such as cloud computing. Additional results from InfinityQS indicate that an acceleration in digital transformation initiatives is occurring, where the number of proofs of concept for InfinityQS’ cloud-native quality intelligence platform Enact® has steadily quadrupled in the last three months.

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Increased training

There has also been an uptake in demand for the company’s training classes designed to educate clients in how to effectively use new tools for remote collaboration. In June, InfinityQS even saw a 316% spike in its professional services hours—compared to March when the outbreak occurred—with clients seeking support as they begin increasing their production to pre-pandemic levels.

Jason Chester, Director of Global Channel Programs at InfinityQS, discussed what the research can tell us: “As we have seen over the last four months, the impact of coronavirus has been a massive wake-up call for all industries and manufacturing is no exception, particularly as a sector still heavily dependent on manual processes and legacy technologies.

Transformation urgency

“Manufacturers are rapidly moving away from outdated pen-and-paper processes in favour of cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, enabling plant staff to efficiently monitor and optimise their production processes in real-time from anywhere. This is in stark contrast to our traditional notion of manufacturing, which is centred around being onsite, on the shop floor, or in close proximity to physical production processes. The research also shows the sheer urgency of those transformation projects over the last three months, evident in the very significant increase in our professional billing hours to support those initiatives.”

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Jason explained: “As some plants restart and others adapt to a new normal, we are seeing a sharp rise in our customers seeking to expand their digital capabilities so they can improve agility, productivity, efficiency, and ensure the safety and quality of their products, as well as have access to process data while away from the shop floor to ensure social distancing, or when working from home.

Cloud enabled flexibility

The increase in requests for our professional services shows manufacturers are taking advantage of the flexibility offered by the cloud and this has been further reflected in the increased demand for our online technical training programs.”

Jason concluded: “It is fantastic to see the tentative signs of a recovery and the increased demand for cloud-based Statistical Process Control (SPC) and Quality Intelligence technologies, which can ensure agile and cost-effective support to manufacturers now and into the future. The fact that 74% of our customers are now reporting an optimistic posture toward the future shows they are confident that these technologies will help them maintain continuity and succeed in the post-COVID reality.”

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