Today’s manufacturers are challenged by a marketplace that demands rapidly supplied products that are inexpensive, and tailored to meet specific needs. In order to stay profitable and competitive, businesses are seeking new customers in new markets, and often providing a wide range of product configurations and options to meet new consumer needs.
Another challenge is the trend toward smaller lot sizes and more frequent deliveries. Consumer-driven requirements such as these have led to an unprecedented degree of complexity in the production and distribution of products.
Perhaps the most daunting challenge of all is the fact that a large segment of the manufacturing workforce is comprised of baby boomers who are beginning to retire. According to a recent study done by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, over three million jobs will need to be filled over the next decade. While this might seem like good news for a new generation entering the workforce, the problem lies in the fact that most young people have been steering clear of the training and education they would need to fill skilled labor positions. With the focus on four-year academic degrees, few have sought vocational training and two-year degrees. This challenge, referred to as the skills gap, is something that affects the entire manufacturing industry, and industry organizations are working to promote skilled labor as a desirable career path for young people.
Businesses today must develop a plan for meeting all of these industry challenges – especially the skills gap, which will impact individual businesses and the supply chains upon which they depend. To learn more about the skills gap, and how you can prepare, download our free Guide to Navigating the Skills Gap.