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White Paper

Manufacturing Reimagined – The Emerging Story of the Digital Era


The manufacturing industry today is in the middle of a seismic shift that has implications for every business element of the sector as digitization transforms the way the industry does business. This PoV discusses how the five defining moments, or ’waves’, identified in a recent research by TCS, have brought changes to the then present manufacturing paradigm and how the digital five forces are influencing the manufacturing value chain.

Manufacturing Industry

In a recent research by TCS, we studied the patterns that defined the evolution of the manufacturing industry. We identified five defining moments, or ’waves’:

  • Wave 1 – Wave of Mass Manufacturing
  • Wave 2 – Wave of Lean Manufacturing
  • Wave 3 – Wave of Globalization
  • Wave 4 – Increased Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Wave 5 – The Digital Wave

The Pervasive Influence of the Digital Five Forces on the Manufacturing Value Chain

Mapping the technologies to business capability sets along the value chain reveals a continuum of opportunities. Not every manufacturing firm will be able to master the complete set of capabilities – a lot will depend on its ecosystem of operation, current competitive levers, and cultural context. Our study reveals that competitive advantage will emerge at the points of intersection of three dimensions:

  • Capabilities enabled by the digital five forces
  • Six areas of impact
  • Value chain elements 

Defining a Cohesive Long-Term Digital Strategy for Your Enterprise

To help plan the journey towards realizing the aspiration of being a ‘digital enterprise’, manufacturing firms must seek to decode the DNA of their lines of business along the value chain, and assess the ‘digital impact’ at the points of intersection of the six impact areas and the digital five forces.