Future proofing

Published On: May 1, 2024Categories: Editorial

The term “future proofing” loosely means anticipating the potential shocks and stresses of the future and developing methods to minimize their effects. It’s an idea often used in industries like technology, health care, industrial design, climate change forecasting and, I would argue, it applies to nearly any business, including marine fabrication. It requires consciously understanding the systems and processes that exist in your business now and considering changes to minimize future stresses.

This issue of Marine Fabricator is all about future proofing your small business. “Automation takes hold in the marine world” discusses how choosing the right digital systems can increase profits and efficiency without increasing obsolescence. “Automotive textile trends” discusses the rising popularity of the automotive upholstery market and whether it’s time for fabricators to consider adding it to their mix. In “Fabricator focus: coming full circle,” Keri Ames, Yachtsman’s Canvas and Marine Canvas Training, discusses preparing both her business and the next generation of marine fabricators for the future.

Russ Griffin, Northcoast Marine Specialties LLC, discusses the various ways to pattern and why fabric-fitting remains his favorite. Michael Charpentier, Paul’s Custom Canvas Inc., explains how to achieve complex upholstery designs by simplifying fabrication processes, and our business column outlines the risks and possible solutions for protecting your computer systems from being hacked through outside vendors.  

Obviously, nobody has a crystal ball, and the future remains unknowable in many respects. But our ability to adapt and anticipate change will help our businesses survive and thrive now and in the years ahead. Consciously building flexibility into our attitudes, systems, processes and expectations is the key to future proofing. As John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”