SETTING THE BENCHMARK

Three Key Complex Industrial Trends in 2023

Three Key Complex Industrial Trends in 2023

As we move into 2023, enterprises in the complex industrial sector face several challenges while striving to create effective growth strategies. We’ve identified three key interconnected trends within the complex industrial market that will affect the industry in the near term.

Trend #1: Regulations Impacting Production Decisions

While regulations can pave the way toward a sustainable future and support industry advancements, regulatory changes can create disruptions, add reporting requirements, and shift the variables in a cost-benefit calculation. One prime example gaining considerable attention involves regulations on climate-related transparency and accountability.

The Push for Transparency and Accountability

In the United States, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 17126 proposes accountability and reporting for “greenhouse gas emissions [GHG], climate-related financial metrics, and climate-related risks” (NAM) impacting companies across industries. Although the final rule was originally scheduled to be published in October 2022 for 2023 financial reporting, the SEC is still considering public comments about what is reported and how. But this trend toward climate-related accountability is hardly U.S.-centric. In fact, there is a “growing global momentum toward climate action and standardized disclosure of climate-related risks. The United Kingdom, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, and the EU are all moving ahead with similar measures.” (McKinsey & Company)

And, since “industrial sectors account for nearly 40% of global energy consumption and more than 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions” (World Economic Forum), the trend toward climate-related accountability has a powerful impact on the market. However, while the push creates a more standardized, transparent, and environmentally conscious industry, the shift creates additional reporting burdens on smaller companies that are a significant part of the industrial supply chain. Luckily, along with these new regulations, there are incentives to develop more robust domestic supply chains that reduce transportation-generated carbon emissions and ease this burden.

The Pull Toward Supply Chain Resiliency

In the United States, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the Inflation Reduction Act, and Buy America all support the federal government’s initiatives to encourage a more robust domestic supply chain. In Europe, we see similar desires to diversify supply chains away from concentrations in traditionally low-cost regions, but geopolitical unrest and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to create headwinds to the implementation of industrial, competitive, and regulatory policies. The ideal goal for the industrial sector is to establish long-term, sustainable partnerships with like-minded electronic manufacturing services (EMS) companies such as Benchmark.

With Benchmark’s North American and global footprint, we are starting to see more partnerships with companies restructuring their supply chains to reduce transportation-related carbon footprints while also meeting changing regulations. Our unique approach to supply chain continuity, comprehensive supply chain services, and data-driven approach, along with our global network of support, allows you to leverage our global supply chain and optimize costs, ultimately accelerating time to market.

Trend #2: Advancements in AI and Robotics

Automation as the Driver

Robots are becoming more complex, intelligent, and autonomous. In fact, today's robot looks nothing like it did some 10 or 20 years ago. While some of these advancements are driven by artificial intelligence (AI), the real driver is an increased demand for automation. Even before the recent pandemic, automation was already an emerging trend sure to help shape our future. However, COVID-19 greatly accelerated the need to automate daily interactions, from ordering at a fast food restaurant to quickly dispensing prescriptions. These same factors are driving the automation trend within the industrial sector. Mechatronics and robotics are especially critical to industrial automation. By integrating mechanical design, connectivity, and computing power, robotic automation can be used in diverse ways to expedite manufacturing, construction, warehousing, and more.

From sensors, optoelectronics, industrial design, and advanced user interface systems to full-system integration, software, firmware, autonomy development, and more, Benchmark is a trusted global partner, delivering high-performance mechatronic devices, modules, and systems. We offer advanced manufacturing, comprehensive test development, and industry-leading engineering capabilities, all available in-house, to reduce your costs and shorten your time to market.

OEMs' FOCUS is shifting from hardware to software

Increasingly, a company that might have been hardware-centric is now pivoting to a software-based focus. In these scenarios, companies are looking to outsource the design and manufacturing of their hardware rather than keeping it in-house in order to focus on developing their core IP. The key to your success, however, is for your engineering and manufacturing partner to understand your product and market to reliably deliver superior hardware. Finding that right EMS partner, therefore, as you shift from hardware to software, is critical to your success.

And, as you turn your attention to research and development (R&D) to invest in your next-generation product, likely leveraging AI and enhanced connectivity, you’ll need to add further enhance your products with lidar and other sensory capabilities to collect more data. This is especially true if your product allows current manual activities to be done semi- or fully- autonomously. This is not a novel idea, of course. But AI and sensor-fusion technology are improving to make what was just an idea a reality.

“The creativity of yesterday is becoming the reality of tomorrow, making Benchmark your ideal partner.”

Partnering with Benchmark means benefiting from our critical expertise in the design, engineering, test, and manufacturing of lidar technology. With more than 30 years of experience serving the industrial sector, Benchmark not only understands our industrial customers, but we support the development of cost-effective lidar solutions that meet your unique needs. As Amy Davis, the VP of Benchmark’s Industrial Sector, puts it, “the creativity of yesterday is becoming the reality of tomorrow, making Benchmark your ideal partner.”

Trend #3: Moving toward Net-Zero Transition

Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) are driving consumer behavior and, in turn, driving new products that we’re seeing in the market. Our customers are now marketing products that enable their customers to be more environmentally conscious, more efficient, and more able to eliminate waste every day. This collective action mindset—from consumer to corporation—drives the technology, the products, and the commitment to a net-zero carbon transition. As such, the industrial market is a critical part of these initiatives.

At Benchmark, we recognize that our industrial customers are striving to reach a net-zero carbon transition in the coming years, but this means engaging with suppliers like Benchmark—companies that are equally committed to building impactful environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) strategies. Benchmark was recently awarded the Silver Medal status from EcoVadis, positioning us in the top 25% of companies evaluated for this distinguished award. Partnering with a manufacturing partner like Benchmark—an EMS company fully committed to ongoing sustainability efforts—helps OEMs meet their ESG requirements and net-zero goals, now and well into the future.

Benchmark—Your Trusted Complex Industrial EMS Partner

As an experienced and respected EMS partner within the Complex Industrial market, Benchmark keeps its finger on the pulse of the industry, sharing the latest insights with our esteemed partners. After all, as Graham Leonard (a seasoned Benchmark Business Development Executive) so eloquently states, “the seemingly ambitious questions of today might just become the industry standards of tomorrow.”

“The seemingly ambitious questions of today might just become the industry standards of tomorrow.”

When you have the questions, Benchmark has the answers. Reach out today to learn more about our unique capabilities offering full product realization. Benchmark—meeting you precisely where you need us to be.

Complex Industrial

about the author

Nelson Joslyn, Graham Leonard, and Bruce McCreary

Nelson works as a Business Development Executive at Benchmark and offers more than 12 years of direct successful customer interaction. Nelson is a senior leader with 34 years of experience bringing value as an individual contributor and manager. Residing in Ascot, England, Graham is a graduate of East Berkshire College and currently works as a Business Development Executive at Benchmark. Graham comes to Benchmark with years of experience as an executive in procurement, global sourcing, and business development. Bruce is a Senior Business Development Executive for Benchmark's innovative engineering solutions and manufacturing services. Bruce holds a BSEE in Electrical and Computer Engineering and an MS in Technical Management.