In a recent survey carried out by the Financial Times, almost 40% of manufacturers in the EU cite a “lack of material and equipment as a factor limiting production.” – the highest proportion since the survey began in 1985, but more than 60% of those surveyed have not highlighted the problem.

ZDnet lists some bold predictions of how manufacturers will or will not respond to the challenges of the coming year and beyond:

    Only 10% of manufacturers will successfully operationalize the creativity of the COVID era. Although many manufacturers will revert to old habits by 2021, the creative thinking that guided them through the early days of the COVID 19 pandemic will require effort and leadership to become sustainable adaptive innovation by 2022 and beyond. ZDnet estimates that only 10% of manufacturers will maintain focus and continue to allow, facilitate, and encourage creativity in their business. The temptation to return to old ways of working, siloed thinking, and a culture of command and control seems simpler, but no better. Rigid hierarchies, ossified processes, and an iron grip are the opposite of flexible and adaptable organizations that will triumph over future challenges.
    Global R & D investment in high-value manufacturing will increase by 15%; bottlenecks in vital components and raw materials will force governments and boards around the world to prioritize supply chain sovereignty and self-sufficiency; the US, the EU, the United Kingdom, China, and others will provide attractive incentives to attract key manufacturing capacity; investment in high-value manufacturing R & D will increase; and investment in storing or localizing local sources of much-needed raw materials will increase.
    Ten major global manufacturers will reduce carbon offsets and also reduce emissions, with the steel industry alone accounting for 7% to 9% of global CO2 emissions. By 2022, asset-intensive industries will take real steps to reduce their impact through electrification, better energy and resource management, and baby steps to change customer behavior and expectations.