Megatrends: The impact of societal trends on the manufacturing business

Megatrends: The impact of societal trends on the manufacturing business

Manufacturers understand the need to be innovative in developing new capabilities and services for customers. Value is not limited to the ownership of the asset supplied to customers, but is created in the usage of the product. In this white paper, we investigated how Societal Megatrends have and will impact the manufacturing industry - our conclusions were derived from a joint research project with the Advanced Services Group, a centre of excellence at Aston Business School.

The five societal megatrends we explored in this research are:

  1. Value change: The increasing importance of transparency, diversity, individualisation and freedom of choice, as well as demand for meaning and connectedness.
  2. Green and resource scarcity: The increasing consciousness of manufacturers when providing products and services to fulfil human development and at the same time take care of the natural system.
  3. Health and Aging: An aging society and increasing importance of healthy living and lifestyle.
  4. Globalisation and the need for community: The increasing emphasis on communities, localities, etc. to foster identity in light of a globalised world.
  5. Inequality and Social Exclusion: The increasing market share of poor customers, means reducing the complexity and cost of a good and its production. Designing products for emerging countries may also call for an increase in durability and, when selling the products, reliance on unconventional distribution channels. Globalisation and rising incomes in emerging countries may also drive frugal innovation, which implies that services and products need not be of inferior quality but must be provided cheaply

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