International law firm Pinsent Masons welcomed Peter Marsh, author and journalist, as speaker at the second of its Horizon 2014 business lecture series on Tuesday.
Lecturing on the revolutionary journey that the manufacturing industry is currently experiencing, he highlighted its progression in connectivity, creativity and customisation as a result of powerful shifts in digital technology.
As a new addition to the central elements traditionally associated with manufacturing – materials, skills, energy and capital - digital technology has become an enabler for manufacturers, encouraging new and smarter ways of thinking. Citing a range of manufacturers embracing digital technology, he discussed the creativity and customisation that is increasingly evident within manufacturing, providing opportunity for delivering bespoke products which meet individual customer requirements.
Embracing the 'internet of things', manufacturers are using data networks to improve connectivity and develop commercial opportunities in telecoms, hardware and data processing, alongside pure manufacturing, Marsh said.
According to Jayne Hussey, Pinsent Masons Partner and specialist in supply chain management, integrating technology into manufacturing also paves the way for a potential overhaul in how supply chain contracts are structured. The use of technology to establish a networked supply chain could drive forward the need for 'multiparty contracting', whereby all or most parties within a supply chain work together under a single contract. This has the potential to allow information to flow more freely to suppliers at every tier. The overall effect could be a more responsive supply chain, with greater transparency and a clear and understood allocation of risk between the contract participants.
David Isaac, Head of the Advanced Manufacturing and Technology sector at Pinsent Masons said: "Peter's lecture showed an optimistic future for manufacturing as the industry begins to embrace innovation and creativity through technology. Peter also acknowledged the challenges that the industry faces, identifying investment and better understanding of the sector's new structure as critical issues to be addressed."
For further insight into the content of Peter Marsh's lecture, please visit Out-Law.com