PwC: Top 10 Digitally Innovative Manufacturing Consultants
PwC helps organisations and individuals worldwide to create the value they’re looking for, by delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. With offices in 157 countries and employing over 276,000 people worldwide, PwC is one of the leading professional services networks globally.
The UK manufacturing industry is facing lots of new challenges and opportunities as a result of changing market dynamics. The costs and rewards of operating in different countries worldwide continue to evolve making decisions about where to design, make and service products increasingly difficult, whilst manufacturing leaders are struggling to find the best people and skills to develop the next generation of products.
Its team of experts work with both UK headquarters and oversees organisations with a UK presence. PwC provides guidance in areas such as revenue growth, inventory costs, supply chain management, M&A, product lifecycle management, sales and operations management.
In PwC’s Annual Manufacturing Report 2020, it was revealed that the industry consisted of 11% of GVA, 44% of total UK exports, 70% of business R&D and directly employing 2.6 million people.
The report found:
- 94% of manufacturers are adjusting their business in new ways to achieve growth.
- 78% are developing a servitised business model that adds value to customer relationships.
- 57% believe their attitude to growth is unaffected by political and economic uncertainty.
- 68% are confident in overseas trade and market conditions are good for promoting growth in their exports.
- 84% see climate change and a carbon neutral future as an opportunity to transform.
Manufacturers face a time of inevitable change at all levels of the business to ensure continued growth. Business transformation is a large issue to address through a short series of survey questions. However, how ready UK manufacturers are to respond to some of the many challenges that exist in today’s unpredictable world is measured by agility. When manufacturers were asked if they continually scan the horizon for upcoming challenges and opportunities, the response and mindset was positive, with 94% adhering to this and only a small percentage of respondents demonstrating significant caution.
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Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Coming soon, Fluent.ai will deploy its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75%-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.