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21st August, 2019

‘Manufacturing is coming home’ – Futurists unveil new Radar Report

Announced at MYOB Partner Connect 2019, the third Radar Report peers into the future of industry. And there are some surprising insights for all.

A sneak peek at the future of six key industries was today presented at MYOB Partner Connect 2019 – an annual event bringing together accountants, bookkeepers and business advisors from across Australia and New Zealand.

Stepping onto the stage to present some findings from a newly released report, futurists Steve Sammartino and Tommy McCubbin of Future Sandwich provided insight and entertainment in a presentation packed with stats, GIFs and video clips.

The research, put together by Future Sandwich in partnership with MYOB, forms the focus of the third edition of the Radar Report, which aims to compile industry-specific predictions to equip business advisors to best prepare their clients for tomorrow.

“We began by asking 800 bookkeepers and accountants a series of questions, including ‘Which industries do your clients operate in?’” said McCubbin.

This data would set the direction for the rest of the report, which is divided by industry according to: vertical: Transport, Retail, Hospitality, Trades, Services and Manufacturing.

“We did a video series as well – we spoke with industry leaders from each of those six industries so that you can take that content and sit with your clients and have discussions that go beyond their current finances,” he said.


Rolling retail to onshoring manufacture


The first edition of the report, written by futurist Maree Conway, provided an important introduction to the trends that have already begun shaping the way business advisors operate. In doing so, Radar Report 2017 painted concerns regarding automation in stark relief.

Last year, the 2018 edition featured Sammartino’s work for the first time, in which he articulated a case for hope: the more technology replaces traditional ways of working, the more scope there is to use a human touch to differentiate between offerings.

But as the audience at Partner Connect 2019 discovered, this year’s Radar Report takes a closer, more detailed look at the future of business and work than ever before – and the team at Future Sandwich came up with some interesting predictions along the way.

Key predictions from Future Sandwich:

  • Transport is about to be revolutionised – electric vehicles are likely to overtake combustion engines much faster than anyone expects, followed by driverless vehicles and – finally – by airborne ridesharing services such as those recently announced by Uber.
  • Retail will continue to blend online and offline experiences – future consumers will recognise less distinction between online and offline shopping, so retailers will likewise need to think much deeper about how one channel influences the other. Emerging trends in transport will also introduce the concept of ‘rolling retail’, where the shop goes to the consumer in the form of trucks or vans outfitted with curated product selections.
  • The trend to offshoring manufacture will reverse – one of the more bold predictions made by Sammartino is that specialist manufacturing is set to return to Australia and New Zealand in a big way in years to come. Driven by automation (robots don’t ask for high wages) and 3D printing (which will allow for smaller, bespoke manufacture), local businesses will soon find it cost effective to perform certain manufacturing tasks locally.
  • Hospitality is getting more personal – from food delivery to in-store experiences, hospitality owners will soon have better access to customer data and relationship management tools, resulting in more personalised interactions. The downside is consumers becoming more aware of the ‘creepy factor’ associated with tech like facial recognition software.
  • Services are becoming more human – with the barrier to entry becoming much lower, those in professional services will need to capitalise on their experience and their ‘soft touch’ skills to remain competitive. Sammartino’s big prediction here is a complete shift away from hourly rates, as people realise that value doesn’t lie in how long a task takes to be completed.
  • Tradies are becoming superhumans – while robotics and automation are removing the need for certain tasks, the introduction of more specialised appliances are requiring new types of tradespeople. This means tradies willing to stay on top of the trends and acquire new skill sets will be highly sought after in years to come.

As Sammartino said in the video introduction to Radar Report 3: “For every task technology takes away, it creates two more…”


Begin working for the future, today


The new report is available for download now, and those who do will also receive the video interviews performed with six industry experts for each vertical.

“I personally loved talking with Amanda Gilmore, head of Uber NZ, about their plans for Uber Elevate,” Sammartino told The Pulse after completing the keynote presentation.

“Their flying cars are a huge vision – it really is the stuff of the Jetsons!”

In contrast, McCubbin enjoyed the insights gleaned from Saskia Fairful, an Australian retail and fashion industry expert.

“She took us on a great journey from the story behind the first shopping malls 100 years ago, right through to the ‘sneaker drop’ culture of today.

“It was eye-opening how much the world of retail has changed.”

And no doubt the many bookkeepers and accountants present at Partner Connect 2019 are now wondering just how much change all industries are set to face in the decades to come.

 

Want to get access to the most impactful, future-focused information on the key industry verticals your clients operate in? Visit the Radar Report webpage and download your FREE copy of the 2019 edition today.

 

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