The manufacturing sector has seen some important trends over the past decade. Advances in IT are playing a major role in transforming the industry. Here we look at the movements in manufacturing in relation to the processes in IT.
Overall trend for production output and labor market
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 2.5 percent increase in manufacturing output over the past decade to be offset by a 0.5 percent decline in industry jobs in 2021 and 2022. This declining trend will continue into 2022 and possibly beyond. The impact of Covid has played a role in the increase in production. Other factors that influenced the latter and continue to influence the labor market are skills gaps, increasing automation and labor shortages.
One of the ways manufacturing can meet the increasing demand for its products is by making the most of a skilled workforce. The most important modern skill required in the manufacturing industry is an aptitude for technology and computerized equipment. Manufacturing now relies heavily on the latest technologies to reduce costs and increase performance.
Another trend that has become visible in manufacturing is the upskilling of employees to cope with new technological advances. Companies don’t want to lose employees with good work ethics and in-depth knowledge of the business. These employees will be retrained to work in the new environment.
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A shift to mobile supply chains
All industries are affected by exorbitant energy costs and global material shortages. This is particularly common in the international arena. Distribution costs between some continents and countries are 10 times what they were before Covid and the war in Ukraine. This requires excellent communication and the use of mobile platforms that work in real time.
Many groups of potential employees have the IT skills to meet manufacturing needs. For example, women and veterans are being hired as the job market competes for skilled workers. Diversification allows manufacturing companies to hire tech-savvy employees.
Manufacturing processes were gradually becoming more and more automated. While this is not a new trend, it has recently intensified. This requires companies to appropriately staff and also automate in order to remain competitive.
It is estimated that robotics for agriculture and food production will be worth £5.44million by 2032. Part of this trend can be attributed to Covid travel restrictions which have reduced labor availability. Banks are investing heavily in robotics in these manufacturing companies.
Businesses are turning to IT solution providers like soVision’s Microsoft Gold Partner IT Managed Services to help them manage their operations. These services help companies to find their way in the changing IT landscape.
Manufacturers are under pressure to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The industry is responsible for a third of the global carbon footprint. New IT solutions are driving the shift towards lower-carbon manufacturing systems.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IoT)
Manufacturers build sensors into their machines. This alerts management to minor issues. These can then be remedied using IoT to prevent critical equipment and machine failures.
The manufacturing industry has become technology-intensive and the IT industry is constantly developing new solutions.
*Header image courtesy of Photo by Lalit Kumar on Unsplash