Insights From My Latest Offsite Innovation Poll

by Gary Fleisher, the Modcoach

The offsite manufacturing sector stands at the forefront of innovation and transformation and my latest poll sheds light on how factories are adopting various advanced technologies, revealing a landscape marked by diversity in adaptation and pointing toward future trends. 

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My poll asked a simple yet profound question: “Has Your Factory Implemented?” Respondents provided insights into the implementation rates of Building Information Modeling (BIM), Robotics, Automated Tables, Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) within their operations. Here’s an extended analysis of the results:

BIM: The Foundation of Digital Construction – 23.1%

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a process that allows for the digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of places. BIM’s adoption rate of 23.1% suggests a growing awareness of its importance in the construction and manufacturing industries. This technology enables manufacturers to visualize projects in a simulated environment, enhancing efficiency and reducing costs. The relatively high adoption rate reflects an industry moving towards digital integration, with BIM acting as the cornerstone for planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance processes.

Robotics: Streamlining Operations – 11.5%

Robotics has been synonymous with manufacturing for decades, yet the 11.5% adoption rate indicates a cautious approach toward its implementation. Robotics technology offers unparalleled precision, productivity, and efficiency, but the investment in cost and the need for specialized skills may act as barriers. However, as robots become more adaptable and affordable, we can anticipate this percentage to grow, further automating tasks that are dangerous, dull, or dirty, and thus reshaping the factory floor.

Automated Tables: Leading the Change – 30.8%

Surprisingly, leading the technological adoption race are Automated Tables at 30.8%. This innovation streamlines the manufacturing process by automating movements and tasks that traditionally require manual labor. Their leading position suggests a trend towards technologies that directly enhance production line efficiency. Automated Tables represent a bridge towards more sophisticated automation, offering a blend of simplicity, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

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DfMA: Innovating Construction – 19.2%

Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) approaches manufacturing with an eye toward ease of manufacture and efficiency of assembly. With a 19.2% adoption rate, DfMA is catching on as companies seek to minimize waste and optimize production processes. This method’s principles align closely with sustainable manufacturing practices, highlighting an industry shift towards not only smarter but also greener manufacturing methods.

AI: The Future is Now – 15.4%

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already proving to be a great addition to the future of manufacturing, with a 15.4% adoption rate. AI’s capabilities in predictive maintenance, quality control, and supply chain optimization are just scratching the surface of its potential. The relatively modest adoption rate may reflect the nascent stage of AI technologies or a wait-and-see approach by many manufacturers. Nevertheless, AI’s impact on the industry is expected to grow exponentially as these technologies mature and become more integrated into manufacturing ecosystems.

My Conclusion

The results of the poll paint a picture of a sector that is cautiously yet steadily embracing technological innovation. Each technology, from BIM to AI, plays a unique role in the transformation of manufacturing, offering solutions to age-old challenges and opening new avenues for growth and efficiency. The diversity in adoption rates highlights the varied approaches factories take based on their specific needs, capabilities, and strategic visions.

I predict these technologies are not just optional extras but so will become essential components of a competitive manufacturing strategy. The continued evolution and integration of these innovations will undoubtedly redefine what it means to be a leader in the manufacturing sector. The journey towards a fully digitized, automated, and efficient manufacturing landscape is underway, and these poll results offer valuable insights into its progression.


Gary Fleisher is a renowned blogger, consultant, and commentator on construction and housing trends, known for his insightful analysis of the industry.

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Gary Fleisher

Gary Fleisher, “The Mod Coach”, has been entrenched in the offsite construction industry for most of his life. Having started his career in the lumber industry, Gary spent decades working with manufactured and modular home producers and homebuilders. For the past 15 years his blog and LinkedIn postings have introduced thousands to the benefits of factory-built construction and have served as a forum for industry professionals to share insights and perspectives. Gary lives in Hagerstown, MD with his wife, Peg.