Resiliency Leading to Innovation: Google Cloud Digital Manufacturer Summit 2021 Recap

As with most industries, the manufacturing industry experienced a shake-up in 2020 with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, a shift in customer behaviors and needs, and disruption in the global supply chain. The content at the 2021 Google Cloud Digital Manufacturer Summit addressed the evolving needs of the industry as it stands and looking forward with increased innovation.

Resiliency Leading to Innovation: Google Cloud Digital Manufacturer Summit 2021 Recap

Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, kicked off the keynote by sharing a state of the industry as we come out of the pandemic. “In the past few months, we have seen just how resilient manufacturers can be as they plan for recovery from the pandemic. In March, U.S. factory activity grew at its fastest pace in 37 years,” he said. “This strong recovery has been fueled by innovation as manufacturers have embraced digital technology.” 

This point was further proven by Dominik Wee, Managing Director Manufacturing and Industrial at Google Cloud. “According to a recent research survey of senior manufacturing executives commissioned by Google, 76% of manufacturers have increased use of digital technologies, such as the cloud, data analytics, and Artificial Intelligence,” he said. “They have essentially become digital manufacturers.”

Kurian explained three notable ways that Google has noticed innovation in manufacturing over the past year, with the sessions for the day aligning to these three categories:

1. A shift to a hybrid work model

Manufacturing companies have shifted to hybrid work by using productivity and collaboration solutions such as Google Workspace. This not only applies to the workers at your organization but also to your overall supply chain. Specifically, Google Workspace enables manufacturers to keep their product teams connected, securely share information with partners and vendors, work in real-time, and maintain visibility into their supply chain.

Sessions in this area include:

2. New strategies for customer engagement

Second, manufacturers have moved to digital commerce and are engaging customers directly through the use of the internet and activities like e-commerce to meet increased demand and to create new personalized customer experiences. Understanding your customer is key to being able to tailor offerings to their preferences and provide a seamless omnichannel experience.

Sessions in this area include:

3. Increased use of data to improve operations

And third, by using data and artificial intelligence, manufacturers are now looking to increase visibility, as well as improve productivity and degrees of automation across their supply chain and operational environments. With an increasing amount of digital technology present in the manufacturing sector, organizations need to be able to actually use the data they’re collecting.

Sessions in this area include:

Innovation in Manufacturing With Google Cloud

To close out the keynote, Wee shared some exciting news on a Google Cloud product announcement to improve quality control for manufacturers. “One painpoint common to all manufacturers is improving production quality control, whether it be a batch of beer, electronics assembly, or cosmetic inspection for defects,” said Wee. 

To address this, Google unveiled a new Visual Inspection AI solution aimed at reducing defects, recalls, and returns for a broad range of manufacturers. Learn more about the product release on Google’s site.

The themes of the event could be best summarized by Kurian sharing Google’s mission to enable manufacturers to digitally transform. “We help manufacturers deliver a data cloud that provides deep insights into your organization, an open cloud with the flexibility to integrate multiple solutions that you as manufacturers may use, and a people cloud to connect your teams, including your first line workers on the manufacturing shop floor, and those in your supply chain to accelerate workforce collaboration,” he said.

As a Google Cloud Premiere Partner, Maven Wave enables manufacturers to modernize operations with cloud-based solutions that drive agility, support innovation, and reduce costs. If you’re ready to discuss how you can incorporate Google Cloud into your manufacturing operations, contact us to connect with our experts. 

About the Author

Kylie McKee
Kylie McKee is a Content Marketing Strategist at Maven Wave with more than eight years of tech industry experience and five years of content marketing experience. Prior to joining the Maven Wave team, Kylie worked as a Content Marketing Specialist for WebPT, Inc. and earned an Associate in Applied Science in Motion Picture, Television, and New Media Production with a CCL in Screenwriting from Scottsdale Community College.
June 24th, 2021

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