For those of us that like hockey, one of the most famous trainer’s quotes is “Skate where the puck is going to be, not where it is.” Why? Because in this fast-paced sport, skating toward where the puck is, instead of where it is traveling, is sure to result in missed opportunities. When you think about it, this is almost the same in any other sporting endeavor. You have to anticipate the trends to reveal where the next action will be and have the greatest chance to score for your team. In business, we should have the same ambitions to win the game. To do so involves taking a journey into the future.
Regardless of the industry, location, or size of the manufacturing enterprise, innovation in the manufacturing environment is critical to effectively competing in the global marketplace. Materials are evolving toward exotic alloys and carbon fibers. Processes to turn these advanced materials into complex components are rapidly increasing in complexity. Talented, highly skilled people are getting tougher to find and retain. What other trends do we see? How do we as an industry proactively anticipate and meet these trends? Can we make them work to our advantage?
Forward-looking manufacturing technology providers have no choice but to anticipate the needs of the future manufacturing enterprise and work hand-in-hand with such designers and engineers to make these dreams into reality.
As Einstein famously stated: "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." Getting to that next level requires curiosity, ambition, desire, and yes, anticipation to make the next scoring play.