business and the environment. But there’s
work to be done in three primary areas:
1. We need to make more things.
The global population is expected to increase
by over 30 percent in 30 years, reaching a
staggering 10 billion by 2050, with half of
those people in the middle class. This means
many more people with expendable income
demanding more products to suit their urbanized lifestyles. Consumers are already
demanding far more and different types of
connected and personalized goods than ever
before. Keeping up with this demand is challenging, as is managing the tremendous user
data it generates, which is expected to reach
600 zetabytes by 2020.1
2. We need to use technology to make thingsbetter.
Hardware and software technologies are
getting more sophisticated. Design is being
democratized with low-cost software, and
advancements in artificial intelligence (AI)
and machine learning are enabling product
designers to leverage mountains of customer
data to innovate at a faster pace. Production
is also seeing more connected hardware with
the industrial Internet of things and new automated techniques. Together, these advanced
technologies are yielding higher levels of
product quality, variance, and performance.
All the while, new digital marketplaces are
shrinking the globe, enabling even the small-est companies to compete in nearly any market, taking competition to a new extreme.
3. We need to make things with less of a negative impact on people and this planet.
Simply put, we need to use fewer resources.
The manufacturing sector is responsible for
1.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in
the United States,2 about a fifth of the country’s total emissions, 3 and about the same
portion of global emissions. Sixty percent of
the world’s 8. 3 billion tons of plastic is now
in landfills or in the natural environment4.
There are currently 1345 Superfund sites
on the U.S. EPA’s National Priorities List5.
These are the unintended consequences of
responding to market growth and change
during the past 100 years. As a result, we are
seeing markets, governments, and employees
react, and there are compelling reasons to respond. In this sector especially, we know that
inefficiency means money left on the table.
The Opportunity Ahead
The confluence of these trends can spell chaos or opportunity. To make the most of these shifts, manufacturers need to set a new goal and reexamine our means of production and delivery.
We need to make more things for our growing customer base, make those things better,
and make them with less negative impacts.
Accomplishing these compounded goals will
require us to use the data we are creating to
better anticipate changing customer needs,
act on those changes, and more tightly link
our design and manufacturing processes. In
short, we must connect our end-to-end processes with data to realize the goal of making
manufacturing sector’s impacts on people and the planet—and the implications those impacts will have on our customers' businesses.
While at first overwhelming, these disruptions, if properly leveraged, can be good for both
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is Senior Director,
Business Strategy &
Marketing, Design &
Manufacturing, at Autodesk, Inc. where he is
responsible for all aspects of go-to-market
and the continued
of the business within
industry. A; er working
for a manufacturer of
he joined Autodesk 1;
years ago and has since
occupied a variety of
leadership roles across
sales, marketing and
Autodesk is a member
of the Manufacturing
is Vice President of
Sustainability at Autodesk and CEO of the
She leads a team transforming the design,
construction industries to capitalize on
the business opportunities of a low-carbon
brings over 20 years
of experience helping
large and small companies leverage market
to sustainability and