Jun 12, 2014

Top 10: Manufacturing trends 2014

3D printing
4 min
2014 is the year of the 3D printer.
10. eSourcing Supply chain management and procurement efficiencies have become as much of a cost-saving feature in the manuf...

10. eSourcing

Supply chain management and procurement efficiencies have become as much of a cost-saving feature in the manufacturing process as any, bringing eSourcing to the fore.

Incorporating sub-themes such as B2B agility and the industrial internet, manufacturers are growing towards eSourcing, both in terms of purchasing and sales.


9. ERP

While it certainly isn’t a new concept for 2013, the role of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) in the manufacturing industry is continuously taking on new dimensions.

Back in September, Pat Garrehy of Rootstock used the analogy of different flavoured ice creams to highlight more than 30 options now open to manufacturers in the ERP market place.


8. M2M 

In July of this year, Vodafone shared findings from its M2M Adoption barometer, predicting that half of all companies will be utilising the trend by 2015.

Key factors behind the rise in uptake have been attributed to the falling price of M2M hardware and the subsequent accessibility for SMEs to whom the technology could be most beneficial.


7. Supply Chain Risk Management

Again, through the advent of the industrial internet, cloud optimisation and M2M technologies, risk management has become a much more efficient cog in the supply chain management machine.

As Infosys highlighted in its top trends infographic earlier in the year, “intelligent technology will empower manufacturers to react faster to disruptive events by monitoring risks and identifying alternate suppliers”.


6. Social Media

Similarly to ERP, social media is hardly a new concept, but in the same way that the race to find a presence onFacebook or Twitter was pivotal a few years back, the new challenge is to be found among the melee.

The congestion has now made the need for an effective social media strategy a key differentiator.


5. Reshoring

As globalisation continues to take hold and manufacturers face tough decisions in the light of faulting economies and strategic expansion, reshoring has become an ever-more prevalent occurrence.

Bringing into play issues of employment, training and skill retention, the location of a business has never been so vital given the global supply chain readily available to businesses.


4. Plug-and-Play plants

Bridging both the cloud and the Internet of Things while seemingly overriding the sometimes lengthy ERP introduction, the advent of plug-and-play plants could be instrumental in the future of manufacturing.

The trend enables a wireless connection between factory and headquarters, making automation, cost cuts and expansion to emerging economies positives to take from its adoption.


3. Internet of Things 

Of course, the cloud, as an individual trend, could have topped this countdown given its influence on many of the inclusions; the Internet of Things certainly being one of them.

The ability to connect and communicate between various mechanical items is an intriguing prospect for both consumers and manufacturers alike, and one that the likes of Intel are already preparing for.


2. Big Data 

Where the race for efficiencies and performance is paramount, every ounce of data is invaluable to a manufacturer.

Being able to analyse everything and leave nothing to chance is now a possibility with big data, and despite playing a big role across all business sectors, manufacturers such as Ford are benefitting from the trend more than most.


1. 3D Printing

While 3D printing has been on the manufacturing radar for a number of years now, the saturation of the trend in mainstream media and in the general public’s consciousness has escalated dramatically in 2013 with people now pondering the consequences of additive manufacturing becoming a consumer process as well as an industry function.

This revolution is bound to continue into 2014, especially as leading manufacturers begin to highlight the results of their 3D printing efforts. 

Lockheed Martin and HP are just two of the world’s leading industry names to have openly voiced their fascination over the trend, with the latter confirming that it would be manufacturing 3D printers in the not too distant future.

Lockheed Martin will be just one of the thousands of manufacturers utilising the machines in their production line, as sectors including auto-manufacturing, aviation, process machining, construction and hi-tech technology looks to cash in on the future of manufacturing. 

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Mar 14, 2019

Top 10 Fast-Moving Consumer Goods companies

Catherine Sturman
5 min
FMCG companies
10. L’Oréal

10. L’Oréal

Founded in 1919 in France, L’Oréal has grown into a multinational brand with over 82,000 employees, becoming one of the most internationally recognised FMCG companies worldwide.

Registering 498 patents in 2017, the business is focused on innovation and developing strong relationships with suppliers and partners. 100% of its strategically important suppliers will also take part in its sustainable development programme in 2020.

9. Phillip Morris

Despite various campaigns, over a billion people are set to smoke in 2025. Multinational FMCG company, Philip Morris remains a leading tobacco company, expanding its footprint into more than 180 key markets.

With 81,000 employees covering 80 languages in total, the company houses a comprehensive, agricultural supply chain; sourcing 400,000 metric tonnes of tobacco each year in partnership with 350,000+ tobacco farmers. The company has also sought to embrace the manufacture of electronic devices for heated tobacco products and ecigarettes.

8. JBS

Launched in the 1950s, global Brazilian food industry leader JBS is now home to 300 production facilities with over 10 billion-dollar brands under its umbrella., such as Seara, Swift, Friboi, Doriana, Moy Park, Pilgrim’s, Primo and more.

Serving more than 300,000 customers, it is the world’s largest company in the beef sector, with over 235,000 employees. Its Legal Supplier Programme has enabled beef suppliers to adapt to Brazil’s environmental legislation, whilst the Green Light Pact initiative has seen cattle breeding centres in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil improve their production practices.

7.  Coca Cola

Coca-Cola’s wide-ranging distribution network, strong portfolio and exceptional marketing capabilities have made it one of the most iconic FMCG companies in the world.

Available in over 200 countries, its products are supplied through one of the world’s largest beverage distribution networks, where suppliers must adhere to its Sustainable Agriculture Guiding Principles (SAGP) and Supplier Engagement Program.

Adopting SmartLabel technology across its manufacturing operations, the business is also leading the way in the identification, implementation and sharing of best practices. Each product now houses a QR code, providing complete transparency. The company is also looking to reduce the emissions from its production processes, where 42% of energy used at its sites is sourced from renewable energy sources.

6. AB InBev

Originally established by combining three big companies: Interbrew, Ambev and Anheuser-Busch, Belgian-Brazilian beverage company AB InBev is officially the world’s largest beverage business.

Selling over 500 beer brands, such as Budweiser, Corona, Leffe and Quilmes in more than 100 countries, the company is acutely aware of its need to frequently adapt and enhance its distribution network.


Partnering with nearly 50,000 farmers, the business is committed to sustainable sourcing, where its flagship platform, SmartBarley has utilised data analytics to support more than 5,000 enrolled farmers improve their productivity and environmental performance. AI and blockchain will also support its manufacturing capabilities.

5. Unilever

Housing some of the most recognisable everyday brands, Unilever’s aggressive acquisition strategy and strong brand presence has seen it become a household name across 190 countries worldwide. Its R&D centres have sought to fully bolster its manufacturing operations and vast distribution network, where the business has maintained its zero non-hazardous waste-to- landfill agenda since 2017.

Additionally, a number of its initiatives have provided employment opportunities to those in rural areas. Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) has enabled half of the company’s agricultural raw materials, such as palm oil to become sustainably sourced. Not only that, 26 sustainable living brands are now situated under the company’s umbrella.

4. PepsiCo

The main rival to Coca-Cola, PepsiCo’s beverages, as well as its food products continue to grow in popularity and demand.

Harnessing significant brand awareness, the Fortune 500 company is one of the most admired companies in the world. Its six global divisions form part of its aim to transform its products which are delivered through its extensive distribution network to meet the ever-evolving needs of customers.

3. Procter & Gamble

Following from its acquisition of personal care company Gillette in 2005, Procter & Gamble has become one the largest FMCG companies, with operations in up to 70 countries.

Providing a range of personal and consumer health products to five billion customers, the company’s recent plans to acquire the consumer health division of Merck Group, as well as implementing a new simplified management structure will form part of its 2020 vision.

2. Johnson & Johnson

A firm family favourite, Johnson & Johnson remains one of the most influential FMCG companies. With products in three categories, Consumer Healthcare, Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals, the business has grown at a considerate pace, with up to 250 subsidiaries under its umbrella.

The company’s complex, global distribution network and diverse supplier base has seen the business embrace new technologies across its network, as it continues to thrive in its role in delivering quality products and services at affordable prices for consumers.

1. Nestle AG

Undertaking a number of corporate acquisitions, Swiss food and beverage company, Nestle has become the largest in the world, with more than 2000 brands available in 189 countries.

Home to the world’s largest private food and nutrition research organisation, the company invested US$1.7bn in its research capabilities in 2017 alone, supporting its 30 R&D facilities worldwide. Its recent partnership with Starbucks will see the business bolster its complex distribution network.

Additionally, in alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals, Nestle is striving for zero environmental impact across its operations. Providing clear labels across its manufacturing lines, the company provides nutritional knowledge as well as supporting local farmers who provide high quality ingredients within its sustainable sourcing efforts.

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