(NewsUSA) – The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic will continue to impact the manufacturing industry in both the short and long term, but smart businesses will continue to adapt by understanding current trends and their impacts.The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) supports North America’s manufacturers of construction and agricultural equipment to promote success and growth in the global marketplace.The organization has identified five top trends to follow in 2021 that can help businesses succeed and ultimately thrive:- Safety first. Workplace safety and compliance with the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration remain a top priority in all areas of manufacturing in 2021 and beyond.Although the ongoing distribution of vaccines is encouraging, the impact of vaccination will not be apparent in the short term, and organizations will need to continue with the workplace strategies of practicing social distancing, restricting visitors, encouraging good hygiene, and ensuring employees’ health before allowing them on the job.- Together remotely. Technology has allowed many industries to connect and collaborate from a distance in ways never before available."The desire to equip workers with technology to stay connected and collaborate from a distance has been a trend within our industry," says Dennis Slater, President of AEM. "As the rise of big data in manufacturing takes shape, creating and finding technologies to make an increasingly spread-out workforce as productive as possible is a top priority for companies, and especially our equipment manufacturing members."Manufacturers who continue to provide training and resources to help employees maximize productivity remotely will retain a competitive advantage.As a recent McKinsey & Company article states, "by digitizing processes to improve equipment management and optimize physical assets, digital collaboration tools give manufacturers ways to boost productivity while enhancing quality," according to AEM.- Expanded Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT is an ongoing trend to watch in manufacturing, More organizations recognize and incorporate smart devices and embedded intelligence in multiple areas of the production process as a way to maintain efficiency and productivity with greater remote monitoring.- Shop local. Manufacturers who are willing and able to embrace a localized economy can benefit from smaller, more flexible factories located near current and prospective customers. Not only can certain costs be saved, and potential disruptions to supply chains reduced, but many consumers report that they value authenticity and local sourcing.- Maintenance made easier. Technology also allows manufacturers to have more detailed information about their equipment, which helps them more accurately predict potential equipment failure and plan accordingly to prevent downtime.Visit AEM.org for more details about events, resources, and membership.