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Taking advantage of the white-hot manufacturing sector

According to the last Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index, the local sector reached its highest point since July 2010.

In recent months, we've extensively discussed the growth in the local manufacturing industry. For the majority of 2015 and now into the new year, it seems that the prospects for the sector's businesses continue to expand - providing great opportunity to invest in new technology and innovation.

Six-year high

However, if you believe that the peak of the manufacturing sector rise had passed, you may not have seen the most recent Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index.

In a March 1 media statement, the association noted that industry grew for the eighth straight month - reaching 53.5 points (up two points). Additionally, this was the highest-ever figure since July 2010, a couple of years after the last major Global Financial Crisis in 2008.

According to Innes Willox, Ai Group chief executive, sub-sectors such as sales, new orders, exports and production are all showing signs of strength, helping to boost the industry as a whole.

"There is little doubt that greater competitiveness in export markets and in the domestic market due to the lower dollar is central to this turnaround," he said.

"With firmer expectations of the dollar remaining at or about its current level, confidence is building and businesses are readjusting their strategies, giving a higher priority to domestic activities both internally and along their supply chains."

While the horizon looks brighter for the manufacturing sector, Mr Willox was at pains to add that there are many challenges ahead for this industry. This includes international volatility and adverse domestic policy changes.

With this in mind, how can manufacturing businesses put a line in the sand and take advantage of the positive trading conditions?

Industry 4.0

Last year, Deloitte published its Industry 4.0 report. As part of the document, there is a clear argument that the traditional manufacturing industry is in the midst of a digital transformation - and businesses that don't join will be left behind.

With technology such as 3D printing, drones and sensors becoming readily available, this is driving a fourth industrial revolution and showing where manufacturers should be investing moving forward.

As a recent report from the International Data Corporation discusses, robotic spending is also increasing across this industry - highlighting another layer of technology for business leaders to be aware of.

If your manufacturing enterprise is ready to make the leap to the digital age, feel free to get in touch with the helpful team at Redstack today.

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