Thanks to improved technology and lean, industrial processes, the manufacturing industry has had upward mobility over the last decade. If you are new in the business and hope to run a successful venture, you ought to have a broad picture of what the industry is like. Manufacturing companies have to steer through both international and national economic challenges. Apart from external forces, here are some of the problems facing manufacturing enterprises.
1. Maintaining proper inventory
The manufacturing industry has been facing inventory challenges, which makes it difficult for manufacturers to stay organized during the chaos. To curb this problem, one ought to use real-time tracking throughout the production process. You can use a serialized barcode to track the quantity and location of goods. Tracking software offers accurate updates on raw materials, assets in the production line, and finished products. Firms should use systems that support efficient operations to save on costs and improve service levels.
2. Shortage of skilled labor
Now that baby boomers are exiting the workplace and taking vital skills with them, it is expected that millions of manufacturing jobs will be available in the coming decade. While this is good news for the millennials that are eager to join the workforce, it means that the industry will lack skilled labor for a while. Automation and robotics will help, but the human effort is required in solving problems, managing production, and performing analysis. Manufacturers need to attract experienced workers and create training programs for new employees.
3. Improving efficiency during production
Manufacturers seek to reduce costs and improve production rates. Some have gone to the extent of sacrificing the quality of their goods to minimize production costs. However, this hurts their profitability in the long term because their customers are dissatisfied. An efficient way of optimizing manufacturing industries is to modernize the processes. For instance, you can use gauging measurement equipment to vary the thickness and density of your products. Find those with high accuracies, such as X-ray and laser-based gauges. It will reduce material waste and minimize intense-labor requirements.
4. Manual handling and safety
Manufacturing can be a dangerous industry, and producers must be aware of the relevant safety precautions. Over the past year, there were over 2 million non-fatal workplace injuries. Many of those are associated with lifting and handling. That is why manufacturers should find ways of lowering the risk of injuries by automating the most critical processes. Thankfully, doing so doesn’t require intense capital as trucks and trolleys can do the job.
5. Project management
Delivering products to the market requires that one adheres to strict timelines. In manufacturing, projects are costly, quality, and time-sensitive. If you miss a deadline, you risk losing revenue, profit, and customers. That is why you should consider implementing project automation software that includes resource scheduling. With such a program, you can easily adjust to the recommended schedule as well as find available resources following the predicted completion date.
6. Forecasting future demand
Some manufacturers still have difficulty forecasting future demand. The primary challenge is that they lack advanced reporting tools that would allow them to estimate the number of products they should sell within a given period. When products don’t meet consumer demands, the companies suffer low sales. To forecast customer demands accurately, manufacturers should use proper reporting tools. That way, they will target sales and estimate the items they should make in the future.
While this article has covered the main challenges facing the manufacturing industry, there are many more out there. That is why manufacturers should consult stakeholders and understand the strategies they can implement to optimize their systems.