What’s in a number? Lots it seems. Getting past the superstitions around Friday the 13th, the numbers occupying the world have been those related to last week’s presidential election, as results trickled in and states moved from red to blue. News channels have been fixated on hour-by-hour updates and constant analysis of the data. Next come the recounts to confirm the numbers tell an accurate story.
Occupying the world all of 2020 have been the numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths as the world continues to grapple with a pandemic which seems far from over. We’re hitting record highs in the US and Europe and meanwhile down here in the southern hemisphere record lows, following the most stringent lockdown of anywhere on the planet.
- Prior to the election the #WTS50 (What’s the SCOOP 50 Most Interesting and Influential) were asked what they hoped for from the next POTUS. Many wanted stability, less protectionism and more investment and incentives that relate to digital transformation. The #WTS50 will be commenting on innovation this month, exploring the promise that in spite of the challenges of 2020, the twenties will again roar and provide the most innovative decade ever.
- Meanwhile there’s plenty going on in the manufacturing world as we continue to manage this strange year and look to 20201. This week I had my first piece published in Entrepreneur Magazine, entitled “The Big Reset for the Manufacturing Industry – Get Ready for 2021”, where I explore How businesses are preparing for a new era that will change every facet of their operations. I really think the industry is at a pivotal point, creating opportunity for those ready to embrace it.
- WTS50 contributor Anna-Katrina Shedletsky has an excellent piece in Forbes, entitled “Electronics Supply Chains Are Staying Put In China, For Now”. According to Anna, “For multiple years, electronics companies that sell into the U.S. market have faced pressure from tariffs to move their supply chains out of China. Savvy companies sought loopholes by moving small pieces of their supply chains, but most stayed put. There was talk this spring when development schedules and production lines ground to a halt that maybe Covid would inspire companies to rethink their reliance on China (or any single-point-of-failure element to their supply chains).”
- It seems everyone has finally realized the importance of digital transformation. IndustryWeek tells us “It’s Time to Get Smart”, explaining how French electronics manufacturer Lacroix has embraced the opportunity to test, deploy and scale the use of latest technologies in its pursuit of a truly smart factory.
- Meanwhile, also in IndustryWeek, “Ford’s Practical Approach to Implementing Advanced Technology”. The automaker doesn’t lose sight of lean principles as it embraces Industry 4.0.
- In Fortune Magazine, “British online grocer Ocado, known for its automated warehouses, acquires two U.S. robotics companies.” The company said Monday that it has bought Kindred Systems, a San Francisco–based robotics company whose warehouse robots help customers such as Gap and American Eagle Outfitters, for $262 million in cash. It is also buying Haddington Dynamics, a small company based in Las Vegas that makes a sophisticated robotic arm for customers including DuPont and NASA, for $25 million in cash and stock.
Upcoming events you should register for:
- I for one am looking forward to the third episode in Eric Miscoll’s series, “EMS 2.0: How the Electronics Manufacturing Industry is Evolving”, sponsored by Bright Machines. In this episode Eric is joined by Molex Chief Digital & Technology Officer Mike Giresi and Bright Machines CTO Brian Mathews. This webinar is live on Wednesday at 12 noon pacific.
- And if you can manage another dose of Eric on Wednesday, I will be joining him for his ever popular show, The EMS (Eric Miscoll Show). This week is a special with guest dialing in from China, so I don’;t have to get up too early. This one will be live on Wednesday at 5pm Pacific, which will be Thursday morning at 9am in China. Derrick Zhao, China Managing Director at Supply Chain Resources Group, and Chadwick Xu, CEO at Shenzhen Valley Ventures will provide their assessment of the state of EMS in China, the impact that re-shoring has had, important trends, and what the future might be for the factory to the world.