Manufacturing. It’s a word that conjures up images of a group of workers operating heavy machinery or working on some traditional idea of an assembly line in close capacity until a loud whistle blows in the background.

I’m sure that still exists in some capacity, however after attending the 113th annual Georgia Association of Manufacturers conference earlier this month, I can say that manufacturing is an industry totally driven by innovation.

At the conference, I was impressed with how forward thinking manufacturing leaders were toward their respective businesses and how they fit in the local and global economiesExploring innovative ways to practically apply technology to their business to increase efficiency or reduce waste is going to be a drastic competitive advantage in a constantly evolving industry.

The last few decades have made clear that American manufacturing has been in a state of flux as manufacturing centers have shifted around the world, and America has grown increasingly dependent on its service industries. A recurring theme from the conference was that we have to be prepared for that tide to swing back towards the U.S., including preparing future generations to be ready for that shift.

Ron Clark from the Ron Clark Academy shared his story of taking the current limitations and breaking through arbitrary barriers in the educational system to make sure all of his students are prepared to lead and make an impact as part of our country’s future success.

Much of the conference focused – unsurprisingly – on making Georgia a hub for manufacturing, but it also highlighted the incredible changes happening in the industry. American manufacturers are seeing increased competition, more savvy consumers and a undeniable need for innovation. “Good enough” just isn’t good enough to compete in today’s fast-paced, highly adaptable manufacturing world.

It’s not a stretch to say that we felt the same way about web development.

We’ve seen the same thing within our own company as well, where the traditional path of development no longer made sense for us, or our customers.  Taking a bold step and transforming our development model and incorporating forward thinking ideas like “agile” and
“scrum” allows us to respond and adapt quickly to changes and trends in the market while strengthening a natural bond that improve our customers’ experience tenfold.

On the surface, there may not be much similarity between manufacturing and website design, but we’ve experienced the same growing pains as many in the industry. We’ve even helped manufacturers like Cummins Engines work through their own growing pains.

Business isn’t a static entity.  Building, improving, tweaking, and sometimes tearing down and starting over is what it takes to not only stay relevant, but also succeed. Identifying those changes in your business need to happen to improve your customer’s experience, although may immediately come with some bumps and bruises, will in the long run provide a catalyst for future growth.


352 is an innovation and growth firm. Leading companies hire us to find billion-dollar opportunities, build killer new products and create hockey-stick growth. We bring grit and new-fashioned thinking to innovation, digital development and growth marketing.