2020, a Year to Remember?
December 22, 2020
There’s a Keystone in every great invention.
There is no denying 2020 was a challenging year, one that many might be willing to forget. However, nothing is gained by forgetting the past. In life, and in business, it is important to learn from market trends, shifts and developments as a result of industry challenges and the introduction of disruptive technologies. These lessons enable manufactures and distribution partners to better plan and prepare for the coming years. Here are five notable 2020 industry trends that will probably continue in 2021.
A Move to On-shoring
COVID-19 provided a lesson to the dangers of relying too heavily on outsourcing and foreign manufacturing. Many industries experienced production delays due to issues with sourcing materials, closed manufacturing facilities, troubles with shipping, and/or sanctions. However, shortages in the medical equipment segment received the largest headlines as countries rushed to procure life-saving medical equipment.
As a result, on-shoring is once again a popular trend for OEMs. According to a Thomas Industrial Survey, more than 60% manufacturers and suppliers have indicated they are likely to bring operations back to North American soil.
Retool for Better Business and the Better Good
During the pandemic, many US manufacturers stepped up by changing manufacturing lines to produce vital medical equipment and PPE to combat COVID-19. The US automotive market, including GM, Ford and Tesla, answered the call to manufacture ventilators instead of automobiles. Many clothing manufactures, including H&M, Nordstrom, Brooks Brothers and Hanesbrands retooled to make face masks and other PPE.
Like many companies in 2020, Keystone Electronics made medical OEM projects a top priority. Keystone’s US operations remained open throughout the pandemic, enabling the company to escalate deliveries intended for critical medical equipment essential to the fight against COVID-19 including ventilators, patient monitoring equipment and more.
More Medical Devices Go Portable
In January, we wrote about medical devices on the move. More specifically, the trend to miniaturize medical equipment for increased functionality and portability. There are many motivating factors that have accelerated the evolution of portable and wearable medical devices. First, these devices can shorten a patient’s hospital stay. Enabling a patient to check-out of a hospital faster is a desire for medical staff, patients and insurance companies alike. Patients can still be monitored for changes in bio-signs, but from the comfort of their homes. This trend should continue into 2021 and well into the future, as we look to reduce the number of patients visiting emergency rooms and hospitals.
Working From Home
Working from home is here to stay. A recent study from S&P Global states 67% of companies plan to continue some sort of work from home program even after COVID-19 is a virus of the past. With two-thirds of the work force at home, we will see a trend for business travel dropping and video conferencing increasing. From video webinars to strategic planning sessions, web meetings are the future. Wireless networks, data centers and cloud computing companies will have to keep innovating to deliver high speed wireless connectivity with high bandwidth and low latency to support our growing digital demands.
With more adults working from home, it would only make sense to see kids continue to learn from home. As we explored in September, COVID-19 has introduced many challenges for academic institutions. Whether public or private, primary or PhD, the health concerns surrounding this pandemic have many students learning from home. Technology continues to shape our educational system. Over the past two decades, the Internet has changed how instructors lecture, how students learn, and how both access information and materials. Virtual classrooms provide a shared online space where instructors and students work, interact and participate simultaneously - all in real time. Teachers and students can login to virtual classrooms via a wide range of wireless devices from laptop computers to tablets to smart phones and even smart watches. Who knows what technology development will impact education next. Perhaps virtual reality will play a role.
Change is Good
Adapting to market demands is nothing new for manufacturers. Businesses must constantly evolve to be better positioned to support current and future customers. The social and business trends listed above are just a few of the many factors affecting business growth today. Reflecting and learning from these and other trends help companies develop better short term and long term strategies.
For more than 70 years, Keystone Electronics has addressed market demands with precision electronic components and hardware offerings. From new product launches to expanded product portfolios, Keystone continues its tradition of innovation to meet traditional and emerging application demands. Keystone products, including Battery Clips, Contacts & Holders, LED Lens Caps and Spacers, and PCB test points and terminals can be found in a wide range of products you use every day. Let us know how we can support your new design today.
We at Keystone wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. We look forward to supporting you in 2021.