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industrial revolutionGlobalization, according to TechTarget.com is, “the process in which people, ideas and goods are spread throughout the world, spurring more interaction and integration between the world’s cultures, governments and economies.”

We are said to be in an industrial revolution; however, this one is unlike the others have been. Manufacturing is going digital, which means customers and opportunities galore, but it comes with a price, and many less-skilled workers are being squeezed because of it. This narrative is precisely at the center of the political divide in the U.S. today, and the 2016 presidential election is exacerbating the conversation.

The divisiveness is not only in the United States, it is all over the world. One could argue that it is at the core of many of the challenges we face today in regards to security as a society. Those who are benefiting from a more-than-ever connected world vs. those who are being left behind are engaged in a very complex conflict of ideas and policies.  At this moment there is a 55-year-old man somewhere in Michigan who used to work in a manufacturing plant and that plant has closed. More than likely that plant will never open again. For politicians, it is easy to say “let’s bring his job back,” and I wish that was possible, but it isn’t always the case. Organizations are doing more with less today. We live in a connected world in which companies are trying to reach an audience faster and in more effective ways than ever before. The political argument today is not right vs. left; it is actually about connectivity vs. non-connectivity and open vs. close.

You are part of this tech revolution in one way or another. Remember when Henry Ford said that the car-buyer could have any color they wanted as long as it was black? Well that premise doesn’t work anymore, the future of manufacturing and service is massive customization. So, can we actually bring those jobs back? If we, as a society, devise bold policies allowing and supporting opportunities for those whose jobs are being lost by this revolution, then we can ease into this industrial revolution.

Can we bring more people on board the tech boat instead of promising that manufacturing jobs are coming back? The answer is not necessarily abandoning globalization, but to manage it instead.

I see a microcosm of this narrative every day, companies are looking to embrace change, connectivity, and do the whole do-more-with-less through digital transformation initiatives. Bringing a digital transformation initiative coupled with a new ERP means disruption, but if Panorama can help manage disruption at a $100 million public organization or a $1 billion private company, how come we as a society cannot manage disruption effectively?

We are all trying to keep up with the times that transform all types of organizations, especially when it comes to manufacturing jobs that see innovation consistently. It is time to digitally transform all organizations in a way to protect what they stand for. Check out our 2015 Manufacturing ERP Report and keep an eye out for our 2017 Manufacturing ERP Report coming soon!

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