The manufacturing industry is not immune to the disrupters affecting other businesses. The rise of technology, an increased need for organizational dexterity, and more are revolutionizing business as usual for manufacturing companies. The following are several trends manufacturing businesses need to keep an eye on to remain competitive.
Jobs Coming Back to the States
Several US manufacturers outsourced jobs to try to save money, but that is about to change. Global supply chains now struggle with compliance issues and wages overseas are increasing. With too many headaches and not enough savings, manufacturers are pulling jobs back into the states. In fact, more jobs are coming back in than are going out of the country. Most of these off shore opportunities are coming from China, decreasing their manufacturing advantage from 14% to 1% between 2004 and 2016. However, the jobs that left in the 1990s are not the same jobs coming back. This is in large part due to increasing technological needs and demands.
Automation on the Rise
Automation has saved manufacturing from years of weakened productivity. From 2007 to 2016, productivity increased 15% with a corresponding decrease in manual laborers. The jobs returning to the country are tech-based. Automating business functions such as scheduling deliveries saves time and reduces human error. It can also help retain business as customers are apt to look elsewhere when their order does not deliver on time or they must deal with other human mistakes.
A Focus on Increasing Services over Products
An increase in technology and automation translates to an increased need for support. This can mean more training, maintenance, or services. Of those three, increased services related to existing products is growing the fastest. While many decry the loss of jobs to automation, they fail to realize this corresponds to an increased number of support and service positions. Service providers allow manufacturers to improve their customer satisfaction by responding to customer requests and resolving issues quickly.
Staying abreast of the latest trends can help manufacturing businesses keep up with their competition as well as remain relevant. Manufacturers who keep pushing their jobs overseas may struggle with compliance problems that fail to compensate in increased profits. Those businesses that refuse to keep up with technological demands will find their productivity lags behind companies that embrace automation. Lastly, companies that improve technology but neglect the support and services that go with it will grapple with decreased customer satisfaction and the potential loss of business. Trion can help manufacturing businesses navigate these trends for maximum performance and profitability. To learn more, contact us today.