Tag Archive: employment

Manufacturing Adds the Most Jobs in the New Year

February 1st, 2019

According to Industry Week, manufacturing employment increased almost 300,000 over the last year!  This is after increasing around 200,000 the year prior – more than a 40% increase. This is much more significant than the numbers alone convey because, according to the National Association of Manufacturers, for every $1 spent in manufacturing, $1.89 is added to the economy.  Manufacturing is hot and relevant.

Not only is manufacturing relevant to the economy, it is relevant to the customer experience.  Have you thought about how much more flexible you can be with your customers’ desires if you can manufacture on the fly? There won’t be a better time to ride this wave to success. Are you debating or jumping on?

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Whether you are in manufacturing or related to manufacturing or impacted by manufacturing, you should pay attention. As manufacturing surges and takes on a new relevance in the economy and to your ability to provide a superior customer experience, you might have opportunities to grow and scale your business to new heights. Have you thought about how you’ll take advantage of these opportunities?  Will you be a follower or an innovator?

At a minimum, being informed about manufacturing and supply chain industries, latest trends and opportunities seems like a good idea.  Join an organization such as the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM/APICS) and participate with classes, tours and webinars, read articles on the topic (there are hundreds, if not thousands, in the archives), listen to experts, pick up the Wall Street Journal or attend an industry event. Why not kick off the New Year informed?  Being informed is part of what’s needed in creating a resilient supply chain. For additional strategies to create a resilient supply chain, check out our new series:



U.S. #3 in Global Manufacturing Scorecard

August 17th, 2018

According to a new Brookings Institution report, the United States ranks near the top for overall manufacturing environment.  The report evaluated policies and regulations, taxes, costs, workforce quality and infrastructure and innovation.  The only two countries to rank higher are the United Kingdom (#1) and Switzerland (#2).  The high tax rate and healthcare costs and the lack of government grants/ loans kept the U.S. out of the top spot.

The study also measured manufacturing output and manufacturing employment.  China ranked #1 in manufacturing output with the U.S. just behind in second place whereas Poland ranked #1 in manufacturing employment (with 20.2% of its workforce in manufacturing) vs. the U.S. at number 16 (with 10.5% respectively).  Manufacturing contributed $2.17 trillion to the U.S. economy or 12.1% GDP.

Are you finding ways to leverage this unique advantage of U.S. manufacturing?

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Manufacturing has been getting considerably more attention in the last few years. Yet, we still hear skeptics asking if there is any manufacturing left.  If we have the third best environment for manufacturing, why aren’t we leveraging this opportunity?

According to the report, there has been a resurgence of manufacturing in the U.S. the last few years. With a continued focus on innovation, education and workforce development, we can keep this trend going so long as it is supplemented with a focus on the appropriate technologies for our business (automation, artificial intelligence, big data), governance predictability and appropriate levels of infrastructure.  

Have you put together plans to involve and educate your team on these concepts? Start there as progress will start with your #1 asset – your employees.

 



Are Robots Good or Bad?

April 19th, 2017

According to the Material Handling & Logistics, robots are slashing U.S. wages and worsening pay inequality. That is certainly a provocative statement! According to new research by MIT’s Daron Acemoglu and Boston University’s Pascual Restrepo, one additional robot per thousand workers reduces the employment to population ratio from 0.18 percentage points to 0.34 percentage points and slashes wages from 0.25% to 0.5%. Regardless of the exact figures, it is certainly accurate that robots will replace certain types of jobs.

automation

Is this good or bad? It is for you to decide based on your circumstances. Technology and automation can keep you competitive and “save” higher skilled jobs since costs are reduced and so there is less incentive to move manufacturing away from the customer base to a lower cost location. On the other hand, robots will minimize the number of repetitive jobs needed. Are you continually building on your skills? And, are you supporting continual skills building in your workforce?

 

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?

We are hearing more and more about technology, automation and robots. Thus, if you aren’t at least thinking about this strategy, you’ll likely be left in the dust. With that said, we are the first to say — do not automate for the sake of automation. Does it support a key need of your business? Will it help you provide a better customer experience? Will it help you be more competitive to grow your business? Think carefully before jumping for the sake of following the popular trend.

If you don’t have a high labor cost environment, will robots make sense? Perhaps not. Just like everyone and his brother jumped on the outsourcing craze several years ago and many later discovered it didn’t make sense in their case (often by learning the hard way with unhappy customers), think before you leap. Stay on top of the latest technology and search for business needs where this tool “fits the bill” to drive business results but do not blindly follow any person or crowd.