We’ve all witnessed the growing uptake of automation within factories around the world over the past five years. There are of course many drivers of this trend. Beyond the traditional need for greater productivity and lower labour costs, further motivations include digitalisation and the growth of e-commerce, with more workers staying at home behind their PC screen, tablet or smartphone. Even Covid-19 had an influence on automation, as it forced businesses to review their processes and accelerate their improvement plans by investing more in technology. Many employees had to work from home during this period. Energy efficiency, big data and an increase in blockchain/cryptocurrency transactions are further catalysts for investment in automation.
All of these factors have an effect on distributors such as Distrelec, which means we must adapt to meet evolving demands. Take digitalisation as an example. Human society always wants more and more, faster and faster, particularly if it relates to food, health or entertainment systems. Manufacturers and distributors in the supply chain need to respond.
Main growth areas
With regard to automation, we see increasing demand for industrial communication solutions, industrial computing and robotic systems with artificial intelligence (AI), as all of these can help to reduce labour costs.
Another trend is SBC (single-board computing), which is moving more and more into industrial sectors, largely thanks to its ease of implementation in comparison with developing a board from scratch. As a result, many manufacturers are shifting their business models towards B2B, and less B2C.
The journey to Industry 4.0 continues, which means we must maintain our investments in stock and industrial-grade products to support factories as they accelerate their automation journeys. This activity also prompts the need for regular product strategy reviews with increasing automation focus, such as industrial computing (switches and routers), PLCs, sensors and more.
Meanwhile there is growing emphasis on Industry 5.0 and what it might mean for distributors. Without doubt there will be increasing focus on AI, SaaS solutions and more digital products. Attention will also fall upon services beyond product supply alone, such as application and solution development support. In addition, with Industry 5.0 we will see acceleration of the communication network, especially via the community (open-sourced).
Next five years?
Without a crystal ball, predicting how things are set to change in the coming five years is difficult, but what we can reveal is that there will continue to be many thousands of product extensions, with more in stock available.
Further initiatives at Distrelec will include greater internationalisation, while we’ll retain a strong focus on the industrial sector.
Meanwhile, we expect to see continued demand for more electric vehicle charging infrastructure in both commercial and residential locations. Here, we’ve introduced a new brand called Charge Amps.
Whatever the next five years bring, rest assured that Distrelec has its finger on the pulse and will evolve accordingly to meet the specific requirements of its industrial sector customers.