The majority of Etteplan’s customers are industrial companies, with several global megatrends influencing the development of their operating environment at present. Structural changes in the global economy, disruptions in international trade, urbanization and climate change are all influencing companies, national economies and people’s lives. In addition to these megatrends, the engineering industry is influenced primarily by three trends: digitalization, accelerating technological development and the lack of engineering resources. These trends and the consolidation of the engineering industry will shape our operating environment and the companies that operate in it during the coming years. They will lead to a growing need for engineering services and new technological expertise.
The digital transformation that is changing industry and society as a whole is continuing and picking up speed. At the same time, investments in the Internet of Things - the combination of intelligent machines, equipment, people and processes - are growing rapidly. Intelligent and connected production processes increase efficiency and change the way industry operates, enabling new business models and a redefinition of the value network in many branches of industry. Machinery and equipment manufacturers may find new paths to growth in service-based business based on analyzing and leveraging data accumulated from machinery and equipment. The increased intelligence of machines and equipment can also lead to a better understanding of how machines are used, increase their capacity and change their technical attributes.
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Technological development is accelerating due to the creation and application of new technologies and manufacturing methods. For example, new digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence and manufacturing methods, such as 3D printing, are revolutionizing industrial production processes and creating opportunities for new kinds of applications and technological innovations. Better manufacturability as well as local or customer-specific applications increase the number of product variations and shorten product life cycles. At the same time, concerns over climate change are forcing companies to develop environmentally friendly solutions.
The need for engineering and design services is growing globally while digitalization and the general development of technology are changing more and more aspects of society. The need for competent engineering professionals continues to grow. The lack of competent employees has even become a bottleneck to the growth for companies in certain fields of technology. In response, many countries are considering measures to increase the number of technology students. The workforce is becoming more international and engineering companies are increasingly looking for experts also outside their home markets through either recruitment or acquisitions. As technology develops, employees need a broader understanding of areas outside their specialty and must engage in more effective cooperation across different areas of technology.
Customer companies in the engineering industry are aiming to focus on their core business and outsource non-core functions, reducing the number of partners they work with and engaging in closer cooperation with their selected partners. The competitive landscape in engineering has a large number of players of various sizes and competencies. The industry has been characterized by a trend of consolidation for a long time now. At the same time, the competitive situation has become even more global than before, and customer projects are broader and more complex. Having grown even larger, engineering industry companies are looking to offer as wide a range of expertise as possible to their customers. They are expanding their offering and operating area both organically and through acquisitions.