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Emerging Manufacturing Trends: Stay Ahead of the Curve

Professional Engineer Checking Quality Control, And Manufacturing Operations

I spent my entire career working for a leading construction equipment manufacturer. When I retired in 2021, I was the Digital Marketing Capabilities Product Manager responsible for implementing, developing, and supporting their global digital marketing capabilities.

I got to experience firsthand how the manufacturing industry is always changing, and it seemed like every year it was changing faster than the previous year. Today, I have a unique perspective that I can offer to manufacturing clients through my work at Perficient, and I enjoy learning about evolving challenges and offering innovative solutions.

As I collaborate with clients and interact with my co-workers, it is clear that there are some specific priorities in the manufacturing industry. Here are some of the most important trends that have caught my attention:

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0, also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is a new era of manufacturing that incorporates cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and cognitive computing. These technologies are transforming the way manufacturers operate by enabling them to automate tasks, improve efficiency, and create new products and services.


Direct-to-consumer (D2C) sales allow manufacturers to bypass traditional retail channels, which can lead to increased profits, improved customer relationships, and greater control over the customer experience. D2C sales can also help manufacturers reach new markets and increase brand awareness.

Digital twins

Digital Twins are virtual representations of physical objects or systems that can be used to simulate their behavior and predict how they will perform under different conditions. They can be used to improve the design, production, and maintenance of products, which can lead to increased efficiency, reduced costs, and improved quality.


Reshoring is the process of bringing manufacturing jobs back to a country from which they had been outsourced. This process can be beneficial for the manufacturing industry, as it can create jobs, improve quality, reduce costs, and improve customer service. However, it can be challenging and expensive to accomplish upfront.


Sustainability is the ability to meet our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In manufacturing, sustainability can be achieved by using recycled materials, energy-efficient equipment, and water-saving technologies. Manufacturers can also design products that are more durable and can be reused or recycled rather than thrown away. By adopting sustainable practices, manufacturers can save money on energy and other costs, improve their public image, and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.


The manufacturing industry is consistently evolving with innovative technologies to address pressing topics such as the environment, domestic needs, and political pressures. Forward-thinking manufacturing companies will keep a close eye on societal pressures and new laws to stay at the forefront of change, never faltering from the mission to keep the world turning.

For a partner who keeps you updated, streamlined, and modernized with the latest digital and technology solutions, take advantage of Perficient’s manufacturing expertise

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Kevin Espinosa

Kevin Espinosa is a Director of Strategy & Innovation at Perficient. He has 33 years of experience at Caterpillar Inc, where he was the Digital Marketing Product Manager. He specializes in digital transformation, digital marketing, architecture strategy, platform selection, and brand/partner strategy.

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