Actionable Innovations Revolutionizing Manufacturing

actionable innovations manufacturing

Actionable innovations are at the core of successful manufacturing companies. The pandemic demonstrated this clearly, because ill-prepared companies struggled or failed.

Conversely, forward-thinking companies embraced cutting-edge innovations and procedures well before the pandemic hit. As a result, they had greater agility, output, and efficiency.

Consequently, the pandemic didn’t disrupt their business. Actually, many found greater opportunities and thrived. The pandemic was their catalyst for change, but because they were proactive they adapted more readily.

Disruptive Innovation Must Drive Progress

Companies must continually respond to changing demands and challenges if they are to remain relevant. They can’t possibly increase market share, productivity, and profitability in a fast-paced, competitive industry if they do what they’ve always done.

Innovation needs to be disruptive to drive progress. Henrik von Scheel, the father of Industry 4.0, claims we have already passed through the first wave of exponential disruptive innovation. The physical, digital, and virtual worlds have already collided, but now innovation will come even quicker.

Consequently, the way to move forward is through actionable innovations, cross-competency, communication, and collaboration. Fortunately, those that embrace innovation can be at the leading edge of operational excellence.

Digital Transformation Already in Motion

Proactive manufacturing companies now fuel existing systems with smart technologies, data and analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and more. The result is faster, more efficient operations and customer-centric offerings. Subsequently, these businesses are more effective and successful.

As an example, many companies are now decentralizing their industrial control systems in favour of smart products. These automatically generate data used for real-time, local adjustments.

Essentially, smart factories analyze and regulate themselves, without human intervention. Moreover, companies can predict the state of their operation over any given period, a powerful benefit.

Considering The Big Picture & Connecting the Dots

Manufacturing is a complex industry. Consequently, from supplier to customer every step must be considered and connected within a company’s value chain. Otherwise, they will waste time and money, instead of finding actionable innovations that serve them well.

Many companies have already found appropriate actionable innovations within the transportation stage of their value chain. Electronic monitors, GPS and RFID systems connect them to their network of physical devices and vehicles.

Consequently, IoT helps their business conserve fuel and plot the smoothest routes for their drivers. They can avoid heavy traffic and detect adverse weather conditions in real-time.

While fully-autonomous electric trucks may be available in the future, manufacturing companies have plenty of opportunities to improve efficiencies now. Examples include monitoring driver behaviors for improved safety and meeting government compliance. Moreover, IoT can create an engaging work experience that can improve employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention.

Actionable Innovations Offer Powerful Benefits

The examples cited above only relate to a single stage in the manufacturing process. However, actionable innovations can and should connect the entire organization.

The benefits are multifold and powerful. Here are just a few within the manufacturing industry:

  • Reduced downtime – autonomous innovations can identify and limit points of failure
  • Faster, smarter, and more sustainable productivity – employees and equipment operate at peak performance
  • Less waste – big data ensures companies buy and use their energy, water, and raw materials in the most efficient manner possible
  • Lower emissions – technology can help companies meet their short and long-term net zero goals
  • More accurate forecasting – comprehensive data and real-time reporting make projections easier and more reliable
  • Empowered decision making – with reliable data at their fingertips, stakeholders can make more informed decisions
  • Safer work environment – software can anticipate problems and keep employees out of harm’s way to help reduce workplace injuries
  • Reduced lead times – customers get their products quicker and companies reduce their production cycle time to increase profitability
  • Improved customer service – actionable innovations can provide usable, real-time data to meet customer needs and answer their questions
  • Greater cross-functional insights – business can see where they can share resources between various functions
  • Reveal upskilling & reskilling opportunities – companies can improve employee retention by investing in their employees.

Plotting a Path Towards Actionable Innovations

Clearly, innovation can greatly benefit the manufacturing industry. However, many companies do not know how to plot a path towards technological change, or how to pinpoint suitable actionable innovations.

Nonetheless, manufacturing and distribution need a commercial and technical edge to stay ahead of competitors and to remain relevant to their customers. Fortunately, EarlyBirds can help.

We offer expertise, Subject Matter Experts, and an expansive marketplace of new and disruptive technologies. EarlyBirds also offers unique programs for ad hoc or supplementary needs, as well as ongoing transformational support.

EarlyBirds Innovation Ecosystem

The EarlyBirds Innovation Ecosystem is a Business-to-Business portal connecting Innovators, Early Adopters, and Subject Matter Experts. Early Adopters are leaders or influencers in an organisation eager to identify new and disruptive technologies. They want to seize opportunities, solve business challenges, or create new products and services.

The Ecosystem has a data pool of over 4 million global innovations that may already address your technological needs. Alternatively, organisations can list their challenges and creators will respond with appropriate actionable innovations.

EarlyBirds Explorer Program

The Explorer Program is tailored towards those who need innovation as a service to supplement existing innovation programs, or to conduct innovation projects when required.

EarlyBirds Challenger Program

The Challenger Program focuses on a single organisational or technical challenge. It looks for the most relevant innovators that meet your organisational, technical, and risk requirements.

The program is run by an EarlyBirds Subject Matter Expert who ascertains your needs. The SME then searches the data pool to identify and curate options for further evaluation. The most suitable option is chosen and the SME drafts a roadmap of next steps, POC, trial, or implementation.


EarlyBirds can provide direction and expertise if your organisation wants to move forward. We can find innovative solutions and connect your organisation to appropriate disruptive technology.

We help organisations find direction and accelerate innovation, both within their silo and through external collaboration. Our expertise extends to many sectors including Manufacturing, Operations & Maintenance, Energy, Education, the Public Sector, and more.

If you’re interested in partnering for success, please register at, or contact us to discuss your needs.