Four out of five (80 percent) manufacturers still lack an end-to-end supply chain planning solution, Rockwell Automation. said in its eighth annual ‘State of Smart Manufacturing Study.’

Twice as many manufacturers believed their organisation lacked the technology needed to outpace the competition compared to 2022.

Technology is crucial to mitigating risk and delivering growth. Nevertheless, one-third of manufacturers said that the range of available systems and platforms is leading to “technology paralysis” – an inability to decide between solutions.

Almost 45 percent of manufacturers cited “improving quality” as the main positive outcome they want to achieve with smart manufacturing initiatives.

“The survey found that smart manufacturing technology is enabling manufacturers of all sizes to optimise more resilient, agile, and sustainable solutions that accelerate transformation,” said Veena Lakkundi, senior vice president, Strategy and Corporate Development, Rockwell Automation.

According to the report, 89 percent of manufacturers plan to maintain or grow employment due to technology adoption. Additionally, 36 percent of respondents expected they will be able to repurpose existing workers due to their increasing use of technology.

Cybersecurity risks ranked highest as the obstacle respondents seek to mitigate with smart manufacturing initiatives.

Of the 95 percent of manufacturers with formal or informal ESG policies, 42 percent pointed to “improving efficiencies” as the top driving factor for pursuing ESG initiatives.

The global study surveyed more than 1,350 manufacturers across 13 of the top manufacturing countries.

(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)