Manufacturing Is an Important Part of the Platform Economy

Amidst generative AI and Web3 advances, smart manufacturing is emerging as investors’ new darling. And it looks like this segment is holding its own at a time of economic uncertainty. 

In 2022, more than $6.5 billion of venture funding was invested in smart manufacturing startups globally, up from $0.6 billion in 2013, states contributing writer Dr. Nikolas Westphal, in The Dawn of New Manufacturing Platforms. In the article, published in Advanced Materials Technology Insights, Dr. Westphal says that two-thirds of these dollars went to U.S. companies. 

Dr. Westphal heralds the rise of new platforms and smaller players, which he states is due to the digital reinvention of the capital goods economy, the leverage of big data, and the combination of hardware and software to orchestrate processes. Venture funding enables these companies to scale their innovations to solve bigger business problems and reach more customers. 

QAD Redzone is one of the smart manufacturing innovatorsstartups leading the charge. Redzone was founded in 2013, to empower frontline workers to drive and manage change. Our company’s founders understood that the reason many digital transformation programs fail is because they don’t address workers’ motivations and create a compelling reason to change. Our Connected Workforce Solution is a next-generation platform that uses mobile, social collaboration technology; automated data capture; IIoT devices; coaching; and team motivational techniques to unlock the creativity and drive of the frontline workforce.  

Redzone was acquired by QAD in early 2023. The newly combined company integrates QAD’s cloud-based systems of record and our innovative workforce solution to drive and sustain process changes. Our companies were the beneficiary of private equity funding to boost growth, a trend Dr. Westphal highlights in his article. QAD was taken private in 2022 by Thoma Bravo in a deal valued at $2 billion, while Redzone had received a growth equity investment from Summit Partners back in 2020. 

“With the addition of Redzone, QAD now has a complete end-to-end solution for manufacturers to fully realize the potential of the Adaptive Enterprise from the shopfloor to the top floor, and from supplier to end customer,” the QAD Redzone acquisition press release states.

“QAD Redzone addresses some of the greatest productivity challenges manufacturers face today including rising input costs, wage inflation and labor shortages. We have been incredibly impressed with the results Redzone customers are achieving; on average, manufacturers using Redzone have increased productivity by 22 percent, improved employee engagement by 74 percent and reduced staff turnover by 32 percent in just 90 days,” said QAD Chief Product Officer Charles Sutherland.

You can put smart manufacturing innovations to work at your company, increasing visibility into performance, evolving processes and capabilities, and creating new value on a continual basis. Transforming production processes with QAD Redzone is a great place to start.

Learn more about the QAD Redzone acquisition and integration.

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