Over the past decade, the global manufacturing sector has witnessed numerous challenges, mostly due to the recession that has choked off demand. This recession has resulted in a steep decline in employment rates in advanced economies. However, despite such challenges, the manufacturing sector remains critically important for both the developing and developed nations.
The American Scenario
Gone are the days when manufacturing companies considered cheap labor as the most critical output. Now, factors such as advanced technology, availability of materials, protection of intellectual property, etc. are the essential ingredients of success for manufacturing companies. The US is known to have the edge over other competing economies on these parameters.
The Opportunities and Challenges
According to recent research, the US is the second-most competitive manufacturing economy after China. It is predicted that by 2020, the manufacturing sector in the US will be the most competent among the world economies.
- While many of the manufacturing companies think that the US is a great place to do business, their success might not have the same impact, mainly regarding generating a considerable number of well-paying jobs, as they did half a century ago. Opportunities are shrinking for Americans without a college degree. Job opportunities in the manufacturing sector are also declining due to the installation of advanced technologies by manufacturing companies, resulting in a lesser number of people required to do a particular job.
- The US has a strong base of millennial population. With proper recruitment and training efforts in place, this generation can help build the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing companies can focus on creating a pipeline of talent armed with the right skills and concentrate on the latest technology, which will help them exploit the available opportunities.
- Many of the manufacturing companies have started employing the Internet of Things (IoT), which has the potential to transform the manufacturing sector. The primary challenge here is not implementing IoT to its full potential, as it won’t be able to harness and analyze useful information and make actionable changes.
- Robotics and automation could be a game changer in the manufacturing sector. Many prominent manufacturing companies are looking at employing this technology into their However, finding the right area to incorporate robotics and making the decision to invest in this technology, considering the capital investment involved, is the main challenge.
Though the US manufacturing sector is facing unprecedented challenges, there is a bright future ahead. Through agility, technology, and ingenuity, the US manufacturers will be able to grab more opportunities and overcome the challenges and usher in a new era of manufacturing.