2019 hasn’t been an easy year for the manufacturing industry, and 2023 will get even more challenging. Look at seven manufacturing challenges companies are expected to battle in the coming year.
Skilled labor gap
With a generation filled with skills entering retirement, the manufacturing industry is witnessing a looming labor shortage. By 2025, there will be around 2 million to 3.5 million unoccupied manufacturing positions.
Thanks to the advent of new technology, manufacturing firms find themselves in less need of employees. However, they need workers with different sets of skills. Specific tasks around manufacturing have been automated. Machine sensors have become common in the industry. They are utilized to collect significant amounts of information. With this kind of innovation, the job make up in the industry is shifting.
Manufacturers now require workers with top-tech skill sets. They need employees that are proficient in mathematics and own an analytical mind. The desire for an unskilled and trainable workforce that was embraced some time back is slowly shrinking as innovation has become more prevalent.
An advance in the augmented reality sector, combined with virtual reality, makes it effortless for manufacturers to train on the job and cut costs.
The manufacturing industry is increasingly using the Internet of Things. Most firms either have already implemented the technology or are on the verge of implementing the Internet of Things machines.
These smart machines assist companies in collecting useful information that can aid them in improving productivity and implementing predictive maintenance. But, gathering information is a relatively easy task. Analyzing and aggregating collected data is the challenging part.
With companies already having machines on their shelves, most don’t have the system to analyze and extract the information being captured by the system. In this sense, the industry is missing out on a vital opportunity.
The entire industry needs to better on data mining capacities. This way, they will be able to make better and real-time decisions.
Implementing the Internet of Things to assist with analytics and predictive maintenance is essential. The technology of monitoring can support the industry in analyzing its data promptly. Also, it will assist in predicting the maintenance period of an asset. As a result, the industry will transition from replacing or repairing maintenance to a predict and fix model.
Customer Self-service application
Most manufacturing companies are focused on the timely delivery of commodities. Also, they seek to maximize profits and revenue. However, customer self-service has fallen by the wayside. Customer-facing portals and applications have been common in the industry. All clients needing information must use their phones to contact the manufacturer. This task has been frustrating for clients, especially in this digital age.
The manufacturing industry’s customers consist of partners, end-consumers, and sub-contractors. The three customers have unique needs, requirements, and concerns for partnering and interacting with the manufacturer. Manufacturers will offer quality customer service with isolated partners and end-customer portals connected to a significant source.
Clients will be able to inquire, request new proposals, search for solutions or knowledge, and obtain necessary updates of their orders. Sub-contractors will be able to track, accept, and update the tasks assigned to them. Also, they will use the self–service portal to communicate with the manufacturer.
All these data can then be kept in the system and retrieved for manufacturers to serve their clients. With such a system, timely information will be provided to all parties in a digitalized manner.
Internal system users are similar to clients who prefer self-service platforms instead of cell phones. Internal users require updated systems that can assist them in better job performance.
Updated systems offer flexibility, greater insight, and speed. This permits workers to use applications to their benefit by performing their tasks more efficiently and effectively. The system provides a conducive environment for employees to complete tasks instead of hindering jobs.
However, most manufacturing firms that utilize the AS/400 systems can’t provide a much-needed user experience. Today’s workers need an updated system. Companies must venture into the market and look for solutions. There are numerous solutions that firms can acquire to provide a much-advanced user experience.
Manufacturers must adhere to extremely stressful, tight, and strict timelines for manufacturers to convey products to the market. In the manufacturing line, all projects are about cost, time, and quality sensitivity. As a result, these projects tend to be rigid and tightly controlled. Manufacturers that fail to beat the deadlines are always at a greater risk of losing millions of money in potential profit and revenue.
Such rigidity and tight control mean that there is less ability for companies to update their scopes or make adjustments as the projects are ongoing. Most projects entail a design commitment that is carried out early on. There is always less flexibility for adjustment as new data emerges or requirements for change. This can be challenging and frustrating for a team that anticipates producing quality products. Deadlines always handcuff them.
Trade war effects
Small profits are a significant worry for all manufacturers. This can be made worse with continued trade wars. Current trade wars affect all industry sectors. Manufacturing is not an exception since finished products and raw materials are sourced and sold globally. The industry is considering tactical changes in the coming year, mainly in the supply chain. They want to ease the impact of trade wars that are always heating up.
Need for a supply chain visibility
Manufacturers ought to meet the soaring client demand for more transparency. They should satisfy the demand throughout the customer experience and product lifespan. To achieve this, there must be granular visibility and real-time in the entire supply chain.
Manufacturers must be aware of every detail. They must know when products delay reaching the market. Being updated on such situations will give them an upper hand to adjust or rectify the problem.
Effective Manufacturing Digital Marketing Strategy
The effective use of digital channels to drive leads, sales, and MRR are some of the primary digital transformation challenges the manufacturing industry faces. Many manufacturing companies have difficulty being efficient, and effective and measuring the impact of their marketing channels, such as paid media, enterprise SEO, Local SEO, content strategy, or social media.
One of the primary challenges these companies have is their digital experience, website design, and brand presentation. Either way, they can’t ignore them if they wish to continue enjoying the manufacturing resurgence.