Like most industries, manufacturing in the U.S. experienced an unprecedented downturn in 2020. Years of sluggish growth hit the pandemic head-on resulting in a perfect storm that dropped the industry’s market size to $5.3T – its lowest in more than a decade. However, despite the letdown, U.S. manufacturing has shown its resilience, bouncing back with an expected market growth rate of 10.8% in 2021.
To ensure this expectation becomes reality, organizations in the manufacturing industry need to address the most difficult challenges keeping them from reaching their full potential.
Labor Shortage & Skills Gap
Manufacturing is currently the fifth largest employer in the United States. However, Baby Boomers are continuing their inevitable exit from the workforce. In May of this year, almost half of all Boomers had already left the labor force.
This mass exodus, combined with the pandemic that’s seen more than 4 million men and women quit in search of better jobs, is causing a massive labor shortage as manufacturing employees struggle to keep employees on the line. With these losses, there aren’t enough available workers with the necessary skills to fill these newly vacated positions. And by 2030, the industry is expected to face a labor shortage as 2 million jobs go unfilled.
To compensate, you need to find solutions that use your workforce more efficiently, reducing the number of tedious or redundant tasks that waste their time and energy.
Cybersecurity & Ransomware
Ransomware is now the most common malware threat resulting in average ransoms of more than $200K and operational downtime of 21 days. In the past few months, there have been three significant data breaches due to ransomware:
- Colonial Pipeline – one of the largest fuel pipelines in the United States.
- JBS – the world’s largest meatpacking company based in Brazil.
- Accenture – a global consulting firm based in Ireland.
As hackers and other cyber criminals get more brazen, the threat of ransomware has become more real than any of us want to admit. The general consensus amongst cybersecurity experts is that it’s no longer a question of if you’ll be attacked, but rather when.
To safeguard yourself from this digital threat, manufacturing companies need software that’s robust and frequently updated so you always have the newest versions with the most effective security patches installed.
Leveraging New Technology
As technology continues to evolve at an exponential rate, manufacturing has struggled to keep up. Research, approval, purchase and deployment can often take a significant amount of time, resulting in missed opportunities when newer, more efficient tech comes available. Nowhere is this truer that with the Internet of Things (IoT).
IoT creates incredible opportunity for manufacturers, if you’re able to leverage the technology to its full potential. Primary benefits of industrial IoT include:
- Real-Time Asset Monitoring.
- Connected Operational Intelligence.
- Predictive Asset Management.
Through automation and IoT, you can take mundane and repetitive tasks out of the hands of your workforce, freeing them up to focus on more important assignments that require human intelligence and ingenuity to resolve.
Inventory Management & Supply Chain Interruptions
During the last year, inventory levels reached their lowest levels in decades, particularly in the manufacturing industry. This was due in large part to shipping delays, domestic production and the reduced labor force.
Your inventory is one of the most crucial aspects of your business and mismanagement can have serious repercussions on your bottomline. Too much inventory and you pay costly storage fees. Too little and you can’t fulfill the needs of your customers.
By adopting solutions that allow you to view your inventory in real-time, you can expose potential shortfalls and make business-critical decisions to protect yourself from future supply chain interruptions.
Protect Your Manufacturing with PortalTrack Solutions
PortalTrack by MSM Solutions offers you a way to overcome some of the biggest challenges threatening the manufacturing industry today.
Reduction of your labor force means you need to be more efficient in the use of the men and women that make your business successful. PortalTrack uses RFID tags, scanners, portals and antennas for accurate, real-time tracking. This allows you to automate redundant tasks and track inventory more efficiently so your teams don’t waste their time manually looking for assets that could be located using a tablet or RFID scanner.
With the latest updates for RFID and mobile operating systems, MSM Solutions investigates every potential breaching incident to develop patches to close the door on hackers and other bad actors. Plus with our best-in-class technical support, you’ll get the help you need to integrate, install and deploy your PortalTrack solution.
By automating your processes with RFID technology you can cut daily operational costs by significantly reducing labor and error costs through process automation. PortalTrack offers a scalable platform that’s customizable and simple to use, easily fitting into your unique business process. To make it even easier, PortalTrack runs on any web browser as well as any Windows, iOS or Android device.
Unprecedented, real-time visibility into your inventory from source to shelf gives you valuable insight into your operations. PortalTrack’s comprehensive and customizable reporting tells you what you need to know to manage your inventory and supply chain more effectively.
To get more information on how we can help you overcome the challenges to your manufacturing business or to check out a free demo, give us a call.