The 4th industrial revolution and the new supply chains viewed by The Economist.
The Economist gives a clear and well documented view about how manufacturers’ business model is evolving, from manufacturing products to selling Product As A Service (Paas). It shows that the added value is no longer in assembling but in R&D and design of the product and processes; in the data-related services manufacturers can offer thanks to internet-connected sensors added to their products.
The Economist also highlight the social aspect of this revolution, demonstrating that manufacturing is not so much declining as it is often presented. Outsourcing to developing countries has eroded innovation but has also enable the rich world to keep the well-paid tasks with growing potential.
It invits politicians who are preaching to bring back manufacturing jobs home to understand that routine labour is dead in the rich world and to see the potential behind new Product As A Service models.
Politicians cannot bring back old-fashioned factory jobs
They don’t make ’em like that any more
Jan 14th 2017 – The Economist – From the print edition
THE vices are what strike you. The Mercedes AMG factory in Brixworth, a town in England’s midlands, is a different world from that of the production line of yore. Engine making was once accompanied by loud noises and the smoke and smells of men and machinery wrestling lumps of metal. Here things are quiet and calm. Skilled mechanics wield high-tech tools amid operating-theatre cleanliness as they work on some of the best racing-car engines in the world. Banks of designers and engineers sit in front of computers nearby. The only vestige of the old world are the vices. There is one on every work bench. At some point, making things of metal requires holding parts still, and nothing better than the vice has come along.