Just 5% of manufacturers have implemented AI within their supply chains

Despite 23% of manufacturers identifying supply chain as a top area potential for Artificial Intelligence (AI), very few have yet to utilise it in the real world and 68% say that that they won’t use the tech to enhance their workforce

The manufacturing industry appears sluggish in adopting AI technologies, as outlined in the Sikich Industry Pulse report. Of over 100 manufacturing executives surveyed, one fifth expressed no plans to incorporate AI into their operations.

Furthermore, over 60% of executives were uncertain about the benefits AI might bring to their companies with many having researched AI but not identified an appropriate use case. Less than 20% of manufacturers had begun any implementation of AI technology.

In parallel, the manufacturing sector continues to grapple with attracting and retaining labour. Amongst executives who said they were not optimistic about business prospects over the next six months, 45% cited labour shortages as a significant concern, with 43% expressing worry about escalating labour costs. These concerns were more frequently cited in this report compared to Sikich's previous survey from June.

Despite acknowledging these labour challenges, only 7% of manufacturers were actively exploring or had already filled open roles with AI technology.

While AI adoption remains low, 24% of manufacturers expressed interest in using AI to supplement their workforce. The marketing and customer service departments were the most often cited as potentially benefitting from AI, although 32% of executives said they were unsure where AI would be most well suited.

The hesitancy to adopt new technology might not simply be confined to the AI revolution. A related challenge highlighted by the report is the limited cybersecurity infrastructure in place. Despite ranking their confidence in cybersecurity preparedness as seven out of 10 on average, more than one-third of respondents had experienced a cyberattack in the past five years.

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