It’s been a wild ride for manufacturers over the past few years, with ups and downs that came so quickly, it was sometimes hard to keep up.
However, the industry ended on a high note, with employment continuing to expand. Cumulative growth in manufacturing employment in 2021 and 2022 was the best since 1983 and 1984, according to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). Currently, the manufacturing sector has 12,934,000 employees, the most since November 2008.
What is the Future of Manufacturing in 2023?
Consider these six manufacturing trends in 2023.
Trend #1: Labor Shortage
One of the most concerning current trends in manufacturing continues to be the ongoing labor shortage. Over the next decade, the NAM estimates 4 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed, and 2.1 million are expected to go unfilled if more people don’t pursue modern manufacturing careers. Simultaneously, managers need to keep a careful eye on other challenges like an aging workforce and limited labor resources.
Under these circumstances, it’s evident that the push to attract, hire, and retain talent from younger generations is one of the top manufacturing trends. In order to overcome these issues, manufacturers will need to offer competitive pay and benefits and create the kind of workplace environment that more closely aligns with candidates’ expectations.
Trend #2: Supply Chain
COVID-19 disrupted supply chains on a huge number of products, including many required for manufacturing. Suddenly, certain items were difficult to obtain, and shipping was delayed. Those issues become self-sustaining when manufacturers experience delays in shipping their own products because of problems with obtaining raw materials or other key components.
With its inventory control and parts management features, CMMS software helps you prevent time- and money-wasting problems like running out of parts, searching for lost parts or duplicating inventory you didn’t know you had. Better management of parts and supplies helps your organization save time and money by improving tracking, stocking, ordering, and inventory processes.
Trend #3: Regulatory Compliance
Manufacturing companies strive to meet the growing demands of government and industry standards and regulatory bodies—OSHA, FDA guidelines, ISO certification, etc. Every industry has its mountain of rules to climb. Regulatory compliance continues to evolve and tighten for many industries after COVID and supply chain disruptions.
CMMS software provides the right tools to document important compliance information, as well as features to make reporting on that data quick and easy when inspections or audits occur. Organizations use CMMS to link all the elements of repair and maintenance work in one place. The data recorded for assets, employees, inventory, schedules, and work orders provides the basis for your compliance documentation. Preventing just one lawsuit more than makes up for the price of CMMS software.
Trend #4: IOT
The Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the way maintenance professionals collect asset information and exchange data with other systems. The IoT describes systems that gather information directly from multiple devices. For example, these devices can include computers, vehicles, smartphones, appliances, building automation systems, production equipment, and almost anything else with a sensor.
More companies are using smart manufacturing to optimize the production process, which combines IoT, AI, and cloud computing. This valuable data will shape your maintenance team’s productivity and efficiency. It also means more real-time data to provide better insights into your assets, how they’re working, and what they’re really costing you.
Trend #5: Proactive Maintenance
As global supply chain issues continue, a proactive maintenance strategy lessens the possibility of equipment or asset failure. That may include preventive maintenance software that will generate a schedule of PM tasks, making it simpler to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Or a condition-based maintenance (CBM) approach to keep tabs on the actual state of your critical assets by recording the output of any meters and gauges on that asset. Others may use data collected by the IoT devices and analyzed by CMMS software to help managers cut costs and find the best way to manage workloads and prevent emergency breakdowns.
Whichever proactive strategy you choose, properly maintained assets perform more efficiently, use less energy, and fail less often—extending their usable life. When a maintenance team establishes and regularly performs tasks that contribute to the upkeep of assets, an organization may be able to sidestep serious problems that arise as a result of neglect, as well as delay more expensive maintenance.
Trend 6: Mobility
Maintenance happens in the field, so techs benefit from technology that makes it easy to access work orders and make updates wherever they are, without stopping by the office or finding a computer. Mobile CMMS makes it possible to access vital maintenance data anywhere, via Wi-Fi or cellular connection. Improved security features mean you can safely control access to your data, even when you aren’t in the office.
Using an adaptive interface and smart devices, maintenance techs can report problems as they find them and capture data when they are working on the job. Best of all, your team members don’t need to come back to the office to get the next work order—they can see their assignments wherever they are.
What do you see for the future of manufacturing in 2023? Leave a comment or contact us.