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Poor Planning & Lack of Staffing Threaten Manufacturing Growth

American manufacturing is poised to make a comeback, with recent promising figures pointing to an upward trend, according to the Industry Market Barometer (IMB), published by ThomasNet last month. The industry needs to get ready to leverage this potential growth or growth will likely falter.

“We are seeing American manufacturing make a comeback,” Rita Lieberman, director, marketing communications at ThomasNet told EBN in an interview. “This year, companies are growing and hiring. For them to move ahead with this, they have to have all the fundamentals in place.”

In the coming year, manufacturing is likely to grow, as manufacturers hire more employees, build up their products and services portfolios, and invest in growth, the survey, which polled 490 small and midsized manufacturers, said. The report, which is in its seventh year, found that manufacturers are drawing more business out of existing accounts, which boosts average account value, and also are selling both domestically and overseas.

Worker talent may be the biggest uphill challenge for many of these organizations. “The pipeline of workers today is dominated by baby boomers who are retiring with no succession plan,” said Lieberman. “[As an industry,] we are looking for millennials to meet current and future demand and to bring them in.”

Click on the slideshow below to explore the detailed findings.

ThomasNet Industry Market Barometer

— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN Circle me on Google+ Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn page Friend me on Facebook

13 comments on “Poor Planning & Lack of Staffing Threaten Manufacturing Growth

  1. Daniel
    December 2, 2014

    “We are seeing American manufacturing make a comeback,” Rita Lieberman, director, marketing communications at ThomasNet told EBN in an interview. “This year, companies are growing and hiring. For them to move ahead with this, they have to have all the fundamentals in place.”

    Hailey, bring home more industry is a part of patriotism; but facilitating for it difficult. Apart from infrastructure, skilled manpower is a very important factor. Creating infrastructure can happen within a couple of years, but building a team of skilled manpower can happen only over several years. For time being, they can recruit external peoples and in parallel they can build a second generation team with proper training.

  2. apek
    December 2, 2014

    Now that manufacturing is reshoring will it dawn on the backshoring companies to bring back free markets so that wages keep track with productivity. It is in best interest of both producers and consumers to have free market economy. Also, I hope they make good macroeconomic reforms so that blunders of past do not happen in future.

  3. Susan Fourtané
    December 2, 2014

    Hailey, 

    “Worker talent may be the biggest uphill challenge for many of these organizations.“The pipeline of workers today is dominated by baby boomers who are retiring with no succession plan,” said Lieberman. “

    The reason for that is that in the years when those people started working in the industry there was a different manufacturing scene in the US. Today, it's a different story: no manufacturing equals to no skilled people to do the job. 

    [As an industry,] we are looking for millennials to meet current and future demand and to bring them in.”

    Are millennials trained to cover manufacturing positions? All this is connected to training. First, you need to show them there will be work available. Then, you need to show them where they can study to get the necessary skills. Lastly, you can start hiring the talent you need. You simply can't expect to hire inexisting talent in an inexisting market. 

    -Susan

  4. Daniel
    December 3, 2014

    “Now that manufacturing is reshoring will it dawn on the backshoring companies to bring back free markets so that wages keep track with productivity. It is in best interest of both producers and consumers to have free market economy. Also, I hope they make good macroeconomic reforms so that blunders of past do not happen in future.”

    Apek, the best is manufacture at places where they have good marketing potentiality. In this globalization era also, most of the countries have such concerns of importing foreign good

  5. Daniel
    December 3, 2014

    “All this is connected to training. First, you need to show them there will be work available. Then, you need to show them where they can study to get the necessary skills. Lastly, you can start hiring the talent you need. You simply can't expect to hire inexisting talent in an inexisting market. “

    Ausan, these are like a chain. First to study about the market requirement, then update the skills based on that study, finding job market and then frequent updation.

  6. Susan Fourtané
    December 3, 2014

    Jacob, Yes, I agree. You can't expect to reestablish manufacturing in one place from one day to the next. There are many things to do first, and steps to follow if you want a successful outcome. -Susan

  7. Daniel
    December 4, 2014

    “Yes, I agree. You can't expect to reestablish manufacturing in one place from one day to the next. There are many things to do first, and steps to follow if you want a successful outcome. -Susan”

    Susan, yes it won't happen in a day or two. It may take year to complete these cycle(creating skilled manpower, employing them etc)

  8. Susan Fourtané
    December 4, 2014

    Jacob, 

     “yes it won't happen in a day or two. It may take year to complete these cycle(creating skilled manpower, employing them etc)”

    Unless robots are programmed with the necessary tasks, which can be done faster than what it would take a human to learn and excel in the same. This is the tendency that is becoming more and more common in manufacturing. But, supply chain management still needs to be covered by humans. 

    -Susan

  9. Daniel
    December 8, 2014

    “Unless robots are programmed with the necessary tasks, which can be done faster than what it would take a human to learn and excel in the same. This is the tendency that is becoming more and more common in manufacturing. But, supply chain management still needs to be covered by humans. “

    Susan, robots can be good ion production environment; but won't be able to do anything with supply or finding market for the finished goods.

  10. Susan Fourtané
    December 8, 2014

    Jacob, 

    That's why I was saying that supply chain management still needs humans to take care of things that robots can't do for now. This may change in the future, though. 

    -Susan

  11. Daniel
    December 9, 2014

    “That's why I was saying that supply chain management still needs humans to take care of things that robots can't do for now. This may change in the future, though. “

    Susan, you are right. Some of the inventory things can be automated to an extent.

  12. Susan Fourtané
    December 9, 2014

    Jacob, 

    Many things can be automated, but you still need humans to plan, schedule, and program robots. It's a combination of work between humans and robots what will take manufacturing to the next level. 

    -Susan

  13. Daniel
    December 10, 2014

    “Many things can be automated, but you still need humans to plan, schedule, and program robots. It's a combination of work between humans and robots what will take manufacturing to the next level. “

    Susan, yes you are right. Till deploying human interactions are very much needed and thereafter robots can take it further.

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