Technology development is an important part of running a successful manufacturing company. Consistent technological adaptation to outside influences will have drastic effects on the inner functionality of a company, as well as maintaining its very existence.
It sounds fatalistic, but failing to adapt will eventually mean that the business wont be able to continue working. There are many things that are constantly running against a manufacturing company, and failing to manage them will ensure they drag the company into the dark.
Keep an eye on your competitors. This is a great way of maintaining an understanding of what technologies are available and being used. It is also a strong step towards implementing your companies own technology development.
Remember that you’re not seeking out to copy your competitors, but to ensure you’re performing at their level and noting down any improvements that you need to make in the near future. It may very well be that your competitors are developing in a way which is not actually beneficial, but the physical methods they use to develop are.