The National Association of Manufacturers projects that more than half of the 4.6 million manufacturing jobs created over the next decade will go unfulfilled. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers reports 89% of manufacturers are finding difficulty hiring skilled workers. At the same time, demand for manufacturing continues to rise in defiance of unprecedented labor instability. Manufacturers need a solution that exceeds the growth potential of a human only workforce, supports an aging labor population, dependably sustains against unprecedented market instability, and definitively solves your labor shortages.
At DEVELOP LLC, we can give you those solutions through automated industrial machines and automated engineering solutions.
For the Jobs That Aren’t Coming Back
The shockwaves from the pandemic are still being felt. The US Chamber of Commerce reported that 1.4 million manufacturing jobs were lost at the start of the pandemic, barely recouping 63% of those workers by the end of 2020. Older workers who would otherwise have kept working chose to retire. Manufacturers by design could not run their manual production lines with remote workers, leaving the manufacturing industry uniquely vulnerable to poaching from promises of work from home. Labor shortages shifting the work burdens of multiple laborers onto one worker increased chances of burnout, injury, or quota shortfalls. The manufacturing market was already dealing with issues finding skilled and unskilled workers before the pandemic, what the Wisconsin Manufacturing Chamber calls ‘the body gap’, now we had a crisis.
With the gap between need and supply of manufacturing workers widening each year, you cannot afford to assume that the problem will get better with time. You must prepare for the possibility that labor shortages may be the new normal or may get worse without any changes to the status quo. A responsible long-term outlook also must consider that if worldwide market instability happened once from external factors, it can happen again.
You Don’t Have to Replace Your Workers with Machines, In Fact, You Shouldn’t
The stigma of ‘machines stealing jobs’ does not make sense when the workforce is not holding these jobs. Even without the labor crisis, the ideal production tasks, the tasks that benefit your bottom line the most, come out of the least satisfying, most dangerous, and highest turnover jobs. Scope positions that are hazardous, stressful, and repetitive. Scope tasks that bottleneck your production, that cause rework, that require machine consistency and accuracy, and that require allocating an inefficient amount of your workforce to achieve machine speeds. If you can offload all or some of a task that your team does not want to do, you will increase job satisfaction, opportunities for growth, and raise your retention rates for your preexisting workforce.
Do you have an older skilled worker whose skills just cannot be found in the modern job pool anymore? You can preserve their longevity with a custom robotic solution designed to take on the ergonomically challenging and fatiguing portions of their manual labor. They can employ their tacit knowledge and unique skills with reduced strain and distraction from the variable inputs and creative portions you require for your production. In the event of retirement, you can even scope an automated machine alongside their retirement, sunsetting their responsibilities onto a custom industrial automated robot.
Dismissing Industrial Automation is Irresponsible to Your Business
The failure to innovate can be a death sentence for even the most powerful companies. The American Enterprise Institute reported that only 61 of the original Fortune 500 companies listed in 1955 still appeared on that list in 2014, and most of the ones that still do have changed so much they are unrecognizable. Fifty years ago, the life expectancy of a Fortune 500 company was 75 years. Today, that number is less than 15 years. In 2004, Blockbuster Video employed 84,300 people (about the seating capacity of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum) worldwide and operated 9,094 stores. They ignored digital streaming, and in 2010 filed for bankruptcy.
The stigma of ‘machines stealing jobs’ does not make sense if closing your mind to innovation puts your entire workforce out of work. A strong business plan is not about survival, it is about a plan to thrive. You want to close bottlenecks, you want to make decisions that allow you to easily scale your business for growth, you want to produce at lower costs, at higher speeds, with higher quality, with better consistency, with improved efficiency. A responsible automation integration achieves these benchmarks by fully or partially automating your production. Waiting for a volatile market to stabilize, betting your business that another shock to the market is not going set back recovery even further, does not make sense when a stable automated solution to the labor crisis exceeds all of the benchmarks of success and sidesteps the main stigmas of ‘stealing jobs.’ Robots do not quit.
DEVELOP LLC’s project managers, engineers, and manufacturing experts have been bulwark, lifeline, and partner to many manufacturing firms seeking to balance supporting their workforce with the necessities of overcoming the labor crisis. Tell us more about your project, schedule a virtual meeting, or call (262)-622-6104 to learn how you can enhance your workforce with automated solutions.