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The Resilient Factory – Supply Chain Management Review




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A global trade war with China has been grabbing headlines, but most manufacturers are dealing with more immediate threats in their own workforces. First, there has been an unprecedented fall in national and local unemployment rates. Second, there has been continued a growth of high-paying jobs in the manufacturing sector. Finally, the onset of Baby Boomer retirements has created daunting skill gaps in the shop workforce.

States in which higher shares of the workforce are in manufacturing—such as Wisconsin and Iowa—have had unemployment dip below 3%. This creates a unique problem for employers in these states: Employees have many other job options, so attracting and retaining talent is increasingly more difficult. Traditionally, a situation like this would require companies to raise wages to stay competitive in the labor market, however, in low-margin industries, even slight increases in wages make products unprofitable.

Now, digital tools allow companies to invest in a digitally enhanced workforce, which keeps both wage structures and production costs competitive. The onset of Industry 4.0 should not be viewed as a replacement to workers, but rather, as an opportunity for enhancement.

By ·

A global trade war with China has been grabbing headlines, but most manufacturers are dealing with more immediate threats in their own workforces. First, there has been an unprecedented fall in national and local unemployment rates. Second, there has been continued a growth of high-paying jobs in the manufacturing sector. Finally, the onset of Baby Boomer retirements has created daunting skill gaps in the shop workforce.

States in which higher shares of the workforce are in manufacturing—such as Wisconsin and Iowa—have had unemployment dip below 3%. This creates a unique problem for employers in these states: Employees have many other job options, so attracting and retaining talent is increasingly more difficult. Traditionally, a situation like this would require companies to raise wages to stay competitive in the labor market, however, in low-margin industries, even slight increases in wages make products unprofitable.

Now, digital tools allow companies to invest in a digitally enhanced workforce, which keeps both wage structures and production costs competitive. The onset of Industry 4.0 should not be viewed as a replacement to workers, but rather, as an opportunity for enhancement.

 








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Article Topics

China &middot

Labor Management &middot

Manufacturing &middot

Tariffs &middot
All Topics

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