By 2030, the manufacturing industry will be in crisis if it cannot overcome a chronic worker shortage, writes QAD Redzone President Richard Tester in Manufacturing Today. In his article Achieving Success Amid a Labor Crisis, Tester points to a survey that states a labor shortage of 500,000 workers will cost the industry $1 trillion by 2030.
Competition will be keen for the most highly skilled workers and emerging talent for a decade or more. As a result, manufacturers need to future-proof their business models and workforce strategies now.
Here are some ways they can do so:
- Leverage automation as much as possible: Industrial companies will pour $265 billion into automation in 2025, up from $224 billion this year. Manufacturing automation can deliver productivity gains of 0.8% to 1.4% annually.
While automation is ideal for repetitive tasks, not everything can be digitized. Manufacturers need workers onsite for a wide array of roles, ranging from managing raw materials and overseeing production to maintaining equipment, ensuring compliance, and handling logistics.
- Offering an engaging experience: Workers want to contribute great ideas, not just execute tasks. Yet for too long, it’s been difficult for them to do so. Workers often receive ad-hoc training on the job, tasks are highly routinized, manufacturing processes are typically paper-based, and supervisors may take a long time to consider and implement employee-led strategies.
Digital technology upends these conventions. The QAD Redzone Connected Workforce Solution uses mobile, social technology to connect production teams and managers. New hires obtain an exceptional digital onboarding experience that begins on Day 1. As an example, they can press play on tablets by production equipment to watch videos and learn how different machines work. In addition, workers can offer ideas for improving processes at any time using the QAD Redzone mobile app, create multimedia plays to share knowledge with others, and get recognized for contributing innovative ideas.
- Create new professional development opportunities: Frontline workers want to progress their careers by learning new skills, working across functions, and gaining leadership opportunities.
QAD Redzone offers well-defined learning paths that begin on Day 1, with an exceptional digital onboarding experience. Workers can generate plays, or multimedia work instructions, on the job, while benefitting from real-time digital skills matrices and learning packs that enable them to drive their own development and progress faster.
Those employers that use QAD Redzone to improve the frontline experience and drive professional development will be in the best position to win and retain workers. Learn more about QAD Redzone.