Without manufacturing, items that people use each day cannot be made. Like all industries, manufacturing has challenges to overcome. These challenges are not unique to any special manufacturing sector. These are five very real issues that are faced each day in most businesses, from the largest corporate manufacturers to the smallest mom-and-pop companies.
#1. Efficiently Getting Product to the Customer
Manufacturers know how to make things. But, making things is only one part of the industry. The only way to keep manufacturing widgets is to sell those widgets to customers. Manufacturers need help finding customers and maintaining relationships with them. For example, conveyor system components manufacturers need a customer base that needs their products to move materials, like airports or other manufacturers.
#2. Finding Properly Skilled Employees
One of the biggest problems facing manufacturers today is finding skilled employees. Gone is the day when employees stood near an assembly line and completed a simple task; automated systems took over those jobs years ago. Instead, manufacturers need employees who can maintain the robots. They also need highly skilled employees who are skilled in the trades, like welding, plumbing, and electrical work.
All too often, well-paying jobs go unfilled simply because there aren’t enough skilled workers who can fill them. With the lack of skilled employees, employers are forced to train their own employees, and this is an expensive endeavor.
#3. Using the Latest Technology
Keeping up with the latest technology is another challenge faced by manufacturers. Installing new technology is expensive, and when it changes rapidly, manufacturers are unsure what technology is worth their investment. Add to that the lack of skilled workers in the pool, using the newest technology is a catch-22. Why install it when there aren’t enough workers to run it and even fewer who are able to maintain it?
Upgrading manufacturing technology is not just about installing a new piece of equipment. It includes upgrading to the latest cybertechnology, like 5G. In what was once a hands-on industry, manufacturing is turning into a business that heavily relies on data and computer technology. It can be difficult for old-school manufacturers to appreciate the constant evolution.
#4. Making an Impact in the Global Marketplace
The manufacturing industry is impacted by the global marketplace. Widgets are manufactured all over the planet, and the company that can do it the fastest and for the least amount of money usually wins. It can be tough to compete with companies located in countries that do not require minimum wages or have loose employment laws.
#5. Keeping Data Safe
Like all companies that gather data and use computers, keeping information safe is a regular struggle. Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to invade secure spaces. Manufacturers that do not maintain their cybersecurity systems could be attacked by criminals looking for easy access to money and information.
Solid cybersecurity costs money and manufacturers are often putting their money into updates that help grow their business. Protection from cybercriminals is not usually on the radar of manufacturing companies.