Food, automotive, health, construction, mining and metallurgy... The industrial sectors are varied and all have to deal with the development of digital technologies and their effects on the value chain.
The government's efforts to strengthen French industry were intensified in the wake of the health crisis. The economic downturn and the strain on replenishment have had a major impact on the sector. The recovery plan implemented at the start of the 2020 school year has defined the 4 priority areas for French industry: modernise, innovate, decarbonise and localise.
These changes need to be supported and a sustainable path mapped out, as the industry sector is one of the growth sectors for the country. According to Insee figures, in 2019, France had more than 250,000 industrial companies, employing no less than 3.2 million direct employees.
The digitalisation of the industry sector involves profound technical and strategic changes. To support the growth of marketplaces in the B2B industry, manufacturers are working on better control of production and better monitoring of distribution. For example, a distributor of industrial supplies will be able to take care of its client's after-sales service needs. This is an inevitable shift as professionals move away from complex purchasing processes to marketplaces that offer a simplified comparison and transaction environment.
The industrial maintenance sectors include people who work directly within the company, subcontractors who specialise in a specific field and service providers. With the reduction in the number of factories being set up in France and the trend towards relocation, the maintenance function is tending to be internalised. As a result, there are fewer opportunities for independent professionals who rely on highly focused specialisation to stand out in a highly competitive market. And among the areas of focus are those that respond to the new challenges linked to the digital transformation of the industry, with predictive maintenance and the use of augmented reality.
France's ecological transition will not be achieved without decarbonising industry, which accounts for nearly 20% of national greenhouse gas emissions. Technical progress and improvements in the carbon efficiency of manufacturing processes have enabled these emission levels to be reduced considerably, but substantial investment in decarbonisation is still expected, particularly in the highest emitting sectors. Namely, chemicals, metallurgy and non-metallic minerals, which combine high energy consumption with the use of fuels and processes that are particularly greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting. In all fields, this decarbonisation goes hand in hand with relocation. The deindustrialisation that took place between 1995 and 2015 thus resulted in a clear increase in GHG emissions linked to relocation. The relocation of industries should thus allow the overall carbon footprint of the sector to be better controlled.