Looking Forward

Across America, many manufacturers are taking the necessary steps to assure their business will succeed in the coming generations. Last week we discussed the benefits of Lean Manufacturing, however this is not the only way to steer plants towards increased productivity through practice improvement.

In early October, the American Small Manufacturers Coalition outlined steps that manufacturers can take to stay ahead of the curve in the “2011 Next Generation Manufacturing Study.” The survey reveals actions and investments small manufacturers can take in order to maintain a competitive advantage.

The survey noted the following procedures are critical to maintain in order to succeed in the generations to come.

  • Secure competitive advantage by implementing a know-all team for recruiting, hiring, training and retaining talent. By utilizing quality training programs new hires will be able to enter the work force with superior skill sets.
  • Create a supply chain and partnerships that offer your business a higher standard in flexibility, delivery performance and response times. This will give your plant the upper hand in competition and by properly maintaining such a collaboration your firm will reach its desired outcomes.
  • Sustainability is no longer a trend. The next generation of hires see it as a must in order to maintain and improve our way of life. Implement processes that aim to decrease waste and energy use and consumers will see you as a business looking towards a better future.
  • Be globally involved. By securing global partnerships with entities that offer superior talents and enforce superior industrial training, your competition will be no comparison.

Approximately 6 out of 10 manufacturers surveyed suggested their firms could have new managers within the next 5 years as more boomers reach retirement age and the next generation comes to power. As this migration goes into effect few manufacturers will realize they will need both skill and workforce development programs in place. The aging workforce and the gap in skilled labor presents a potential problem to employers. However, if actions are taken now to ensure new hires and the future leaders of your company are properly trained and retrained as technology evolves then the evolution of your firm into a new generation will be smooth sailing.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net & Digital Art