by Kanwar Anand, June 18, 2015

The Future of Making Things

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Join KETIV and Autodesk on July 21st for The Future of Making Things, a live event at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Andrew Anagnost, Senior VP of Autodesk, will share his perspective on how companies are competing while navigating the opportunities and threats presented by the trends shaping 21st century manufacturing.

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a crystal ball to predict the future? If we knew which of the many world-wide trends in manufacturing were guaranteed to take off, we’d invest and prepare before anyone else did.

There is no crystal ball. What we know is that today’s consumer is more informed and connected to purchase options than ever before, forcing the traditional supply chain to undergo a business transformation. We must stay on top of the trends redefining customer expectations for time to market, responsiveness, and collaboration and plan and execute accordingly. Let’s take a look at the key factors influencing the change and start a conversation about how we will thrive.

  1. SMAC Stack – Social, Media, Analytics, and Cloud – This source of big data enables us to understand our customers’ needs and usage better and to engage with them with more intelligence and in real time. Your organization will need to apply this leaner, smarter way of using technology to improve customer experience and internal processes.
  2. Mass Customization and Configuration – The Maker community has shown us how to create unique, custom products on a small scale with the high quality of large-scale, mass production. Thanks to the popularity of Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) technologies, and crowd sourcing, custom products can be created and improved upon rapidly. Some manufacturers are opportunistic and implementing these practices to supplement their innovation strategies, others must evolve in order to meet these changing expectations of their customers.
  3. Connected Smart Devices – Improvements in connectivity and processing power have made it possible for designers to invent devices with an on/off switch to the Internet. Smart, connected products offer opportunities for new functionality and capabilities and higher product utilization. This is bringing innovation to areas ranging from home automation to intelligent vehicles, forcing companies to rethink and reengineer their products and everything they do internally.
  4. Re Shoring – Increasing wages in Asia, the cost and environmental impact of transportation, and the significance of time to market and quality control, have prompted companies to move their manufacturing and assembly plants closer to the consumer. Proximity to innovation and proximity to demand are creating a welcome resurgence in manufacturing in America.

These are just some of the technological advances redefining our future. It may be a challenge to identify the relevance of these trends to your business while meeting today’s engineering and production deadlines. But it is necessary. Otherwise the future will become the past and we would have missed the wave.

Andrew Anagnost, Ph.D., Senior VP of Autodesk for Industry Strategy and Marketing, travels the world to meet with brilliant minds and early adopters at the forefront of these technologies. As a leader at Autodesk, he is responsible for acquiring and developing the software tools that take advantage of these trends. As part of this initiative, he is leading the shift away from Perpetual to Term-based, Desktop Subscription licensing. He also realizes the importance of an integrated product development strategy so that teams can collaboratively and efficiently develop a concept successfully.

Andrew will be the keynote at an upcoming event at the California Science Center. If the future is of interest to you – and you can invest a half-day in order to profit from it – sign up here.

The home of the stunning Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit and the inspirational Space Shuttle Endeavour, the California Science Center is the largest hands-on science center on the West Coast. Join us for a tour of the exhibits after lunch.


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