Freeman Cebu Business

The need to grow the manufacturing industry in 2024

INTEGRITY BEAT - Henry Schumacher - The Freeman

We are all convinced that the manufacturing sector in the Philippines has to grow to support the economy, generate employment and drive trade in both directions. Let’s look at some ideas what needs to be done:

A main priority for manufacturers in 2024 will be their ability to gather, understand, and implement data effectively across their business. While most manufacturers have the necessary data, they need to continue their quest to be inherently digital to create value. This means investing in critical digital business capabilities and creating data-centric strategies for everyone on the team to follow. In the chapters that follow, four key areas of focus in 2024 are explored:

• Data is changing the way manufacturers operate

• Driving profitability with digital

• How smart manufacturing affects your people

• The continuous project of supply chain resiliency.

Data is changing the way manufacturers operate

The potential for AI in manufacturing has long been seen as a key to unlocking significant value, but the realization of that value has been unevenly distributed and slow. The rise of generative AI is reigniting the focus on how to embrace the potential of AI and supplemental data across the value chain. Manufacturing has seen digital technologies that have helped fundamentally change the way their operations and factory’s function—but none hold a promise like AI and ML in their ability to transform the industry. How can companies exploit the full potential of their data? The answer is simple: by turning their employees into data literate people.

Driving profitability with digital

More companies now have an immense amount of data; however, they don’t know how to translate it into useful insights because of business analytics capability gaps, disparate data that’s difficult to locate and aggregate, or data governance and quality issues. While this isn’t an overnight problem to solve, companies’ investment to align a data & analytics strategy into insights can result in a double-digit ROI.

How smart manufacturing affects your people

General market uncertainty is returning the focus to cost reduction and efficiency gains, especially across supply chain and manufacturing operations. Investment in digital solutions continues to provide avenues to realize these needs, though efforts are tending to favor more micro-focused deployments than large-scale transformations. Generative AI continues to be the new frontier given its disruptive potential, and many companies—especially the more digitally advanced—continue to explore viable use cases that can translate into pilots.

The continuous project of supply-chain resilience

Supply chains have faced disruptions that can’t be fixed overnight—and there’s no silver bullet to increase durability or agility. Modern supply chains are complex, with moving parts that must be viewed holistically rather than in isolation. Accordingly, government and the private sector have to focus on improving the transportation infrastructure. Rightfully, the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) is urging government to appoint a ‘traffic czar’ to address the traffic crisis in Metro Manila.


Manufacturers will be continuing the journey from disruption and uncertainty in 2024. This includes understanding and implementing data effectively across their business.

Organizations that strive to be inherently digital will be able to implement data-centric strategies that guide teams to create value and stand strong during potential turbulent markets. While this isn’t new, organizations are strongly urged to remain focused on longer-term goals.

By taking the time to evaluate operations and investing in improvements and critical digital business capabilities, your organization can be more efficient and profitable in the future.

As we move forward, let’s not forget that sustainability, diversity and digitalization have to be taken into consideration. And finally, my biggest request: Let’s invest in the youth: they are our future in manufacturing, and beyond.



Feedback is appreciated; contact me at [email protected]

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