If you think you’re safe from disruption, then think again. Because by the time a disruptive change has overtaken us, we won’t have time to react.

If recent history is anything to go by, our future will be full of change. Innovations in the digital space have already transformed us, and the rate of change has been exponential – this won’t slow down.

It’s what happened to Kodak when the digital camera disrupted them. It was an opportunity ignored because it would eat into their core business profits – and well, didn’t that go down in history as a bad move.

Who rents movies from blockbuster these days? That’s right, no one. Because the subscription-based business model of Netflix disrupted them. Blockbuster even laughed them out of their office when they offered themselves for sale in the early days.

Our industry has also seen the closure of some member companies in recent years.


Disruption is real and closer to us than we think

The 2018 manufacturing report by Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment showed that in New Zealand, the annual number of manufacturing firm deaths have exceeded births since 2007.

Manufacturing has had the lowest (0.2%) average annual labour productivity growth rate over the last ten years and the overall share of metals sector GDP (1%) is declining.

Closer to home, only 20% of our members are into export, and half of them aren’t even sure about their future growth prospects. They tend to be mostl concerned about IP protection issues – but don’t fully understand the changing IP landscape where open innovation is rampant.

A massive reversal needs to take place in these trends. We need to start by setting our sights on what our future could look like.

At HERA, we believe the urgency to plan for our future has never been greater due to rapidly changing market forces and new skills demands. That’s why our vision is to future-proof our industry by addressing these demands, delivering innovative solutions, and connecting members to new ways of thinking.

We’re actively planning for the future through a number of leadership programs and innovation cluster groups. These are focused on prefabrication, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), automation and smart materials. These technologies are already impacting our industry, and certainly have the scope to disrupt us more as they evolve. Think workshop machinery ‘talking’ to each other to increase productivity, blockchain revamping how construction contracts are managed, an automated robot workforce, or smart sensors giving early alerts to process malfunctions.

Our industry capabilities are spread across those busy firefighting in their day to day jobs, and those who are actively looking for the next disruption and upskilling accordingly.

Neither are wrong in what they are doing – one is just reactive and focused on the here and now, while the other is proactive and focused on the future.


What is our next move?

Last year had our first group of the proactive, future focused members attend our Innovation READY course designed to train members in how to be more innovative in their work places. It was a great learning curve which has led to us setting our sights higher and further – and we want the same for you too.

To support you, we’ll of course be running our innovation course again. Kick starting the program this Thursday 13 June.

We’re also targeting IP concerns, export opportunities and technologies – as more than 80% of our members aren’t in this space. In the coming months we’ll be planning a session with IP experts and NZTE  to explore these ideas further and will also be running a technology road-mapping session to investigate what technology you should be making part of your future.

They’re all simple ways you can start planning for your future – and we’ll be there every step of the way to support you with the right solutions specifically designed for you.


So what are you waiting for? Register for our next intake of Innovation READY, or contact our General Manager Industry Development Boaz Habib to express your interest for:

  • our upcoming session on future technology road mapping and IP tips and tricks,
  • joining our technology and HR innovation clusters, and
  • exploring upcoming export opportunities.