The Resistance to Innovation in Manufacturing That’s Burning Profits

The Resistance to Innovation in Manufacturing That’s Burning Profits


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What if there was a way that you could significantly increase the value of your business? A study done by McKinsey indicates that this is possible. Manufacturers could boost their overall value by an incredible 20% if they adopt innovations and technological advances. This could add another $530 billion to the industry by 2025!

However, getting these increases means changing the way that manufacturers do things. While we fundamentally know that innovation in manufacturing can yield significant results, change can often be uncomfortable.

Resistance to Innovation in Manufacturing

There’s often a resistance to innovation in manufacturing that’s holding companies back. Why is that?

  • Changes in tools used in manufacturing mean retooling.
  • Changes in the nature of the job mean re-training.
  • Changes in work relationships can cause uncertainty.
  • Fear of failure can cause resistance.
  • The emergence of new tasks can slow adoption.

Even when it’s the right change, it can lead to anxiety.

Areas Where Lack of Innovation Are Costing You Money

If you’re not taking advantage of innovation in manufacturing, it will be challenging to compete in the future. Lack of innovation costs you money when it comes to quality control, smart manufacturing, and realizing gains from Industry 4.0 tools.

Quality Control (QC) Management

Without quality control, you waste time, money, and resources. Monitoring each step of the manufacturing journey, from raw material to the final product, helps you maintain quality control, which reduces scrap and rework. Standardization results in consistency and fewer customer complaints. A robust QC program lowers production costs and enables you to pass audits more quickly, and meet order specs.

Quality management, however, doesn’t work in a silo. It needs to be an enterprise-wide focus that includes every aspect of the organization with greater transparency. Bluestreak’s end-to-end control leads to better QC, increasing productivity and setting a path for continuous improvement.

Smart Manufacturing

The slow pace of digital adoption has hurt US businesses. This resistance to innovation in manufacturing has put many companies at a significant disadvantage with overseas competitors. To combat cheap labor abroad, manufacturers have to get better at process and productivity.

Instead of adopting new software tools to improve business productivity, too many manufacturers try to adapt what they’ve used before, even if the functionality you need is not available. If you find that the software you’re using has too many workarounds, doesn’t have the functions you require, or no longer suits your needs, it’s time to look for a new solution. If you’re using software that’s more at home in the accounting suite than on the shop floor, you’re not optimizing your productivity.

3D printing has a host of benefits: rapid prototyping, lower costs for tooling costs and small production runs, greater flexibility, and reduced waste. But many manufacturers are losing money or business because they have not adopted this innovation in manufacturing.

Industry 4.0

Smart manufacturing holds a great deal of promise. The next phase of innovation in manufacturing, called Industry 4.0, is expected to create even bigger innovations, leading to significant gains. Nearly half of all manufacturers are adopting Industry 4.0 standards to their processes, according to a study from the MPI Group.

Industry 4.0 can capitalize on the ever-increasing volume of data being generated during the manufacturing process.

  • Artificial Intelligence and machine learning will lead to process improvements.
  • Robotics can create more consistent throughput.
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can automate workloads to reduce the amount of time spent on manual tasks.
  • Increased automation can generate productivity gains.
  • Remote monitoring can collect data and track productivity and machine performance.

Industry 4.0 is the name given to innovation in manufacturing that leads to better interoperability, information transparency, process insights, and automation. This allows manufacturers to redirect resources to focus on mission-critical projects rather than manual tasks. Moving data to the cloud enables manufacturers to put limited resources into the work on the shop floor rather than into the IT infrastructure.

Bluestreak is perfectly positioned to take advantage of Industry 4.0 innovation in manufacturing as a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and Quality Management System (QMS) designed exclusively for the service-based manufacturing environment. The primary focus is on the manufacturing process instead of inventory management.


Innovation in manufacturing starts with the right software for your needs. Most software is chosen by the business office and “adapted” to the shop floor, rather than as part of a system that can create innovation.

In business, so much of what we do is conditioned on ROI. We ask if doing something will increase our profitability. We often forget to examine external costs, such as loss of business, because we fail to innovate. As labor costs continue to rise and good workers become harder to find, innovation in manufacturing will be crucial to remain competitive. Failing to innovate is burning profits.

If you’re ready to leave manual, time-consuming service-based manufacturing tasks in the past, drastically reduce your scrap and rework percentage, gain visibility of your production floor processes, and build better relationships with your customers, contact us for a free consultation today!