In 2021, supply chain disruption hit manufacturers hard. According to the US Census Bureau, 60% of manufacturers had significant supply chain issues that materially affected their business — more than any other industry. Most experts don’t see relief on the way until sometime in 2023.
As we look to 2022, mitigating supply chain problems will be one of the top priorities, and always looking for efficiencies and quality improvements.
While some industry standards are here to stay, new methods and technologies are emerging as we adjust to the needs of an evolving global economy. To keep your company competitive, consider how your business can implement these up-and-coming trends.
Poorly functioning equipment can result in costly repairs, loss of revenue and decreased employee safety. Predictive maintenance works to mitigate these problems by using software to gather data regarding the health of the machinery. This enables your business to plan maintenance and secure necessary parts before the machinery breaks and disrupts business operations.
Strategically planned machine care also leads to a longer lifespan for the machinery, boosting your bottom line. This is increasingly important amid the current supply chain issues and machinery shortages. Replacement parts can take months instead of days to procure, leading to considerable downtime.
Reshoring and Re-Evaluating Supply Chains
Supply chain issues have also highlighted reshoring and near sourcing efforts, altering how we conduct logistics management. The goal of reshoring is to decrease dependence on international supply chains. This is accomplished by manufacturing more of the needed materials in the US.
Manufacturers are also aggressively pursuing deeper supply chains to counter bottlenecks. Rather than one or two suppliers, many manufacturers are sourcing four or more suppliers in each category. If you haven’t reviewed your supply chain to find additional resources, now’s the time.
By evaluating your sourcing solutions, you can create more independence for your company, ensuring you’ll have greater access to materials during supply chain shortages or global economic issues.
With record levels of employees quitting their jobs, you need to be proactive about improving your working environment to retain employees. That starts with communication about the mission and how each employee’s role fits the larger organizational goals. It also involves a heavy emphasis on employee safety.
Investing in employee safety signals that you care about the overarching wellbeing of your employees. It not only supports a better place to work, but it also improves the culture as employees will feel cared for. To accomplish this, start with evaluating your workplace safety training material and training frequency.
Make sure to include the following topics:
- Ergonomics: Employees must be aware of how to support their physical health while lifting or moving materials or equipment. If they have physical limitations, make sure they know how to modify their actions or what tools are available to help them.
- Hazard Safety: Inform your employees of the type of hazards that could occur on the job and what action steps to take if one occurs. This could include slip and falls, chemical spills or biohazard accidents.
- Machine Safety: Offer training on each specific machine that employees must use, including how to operate and care for the machine and what to do in emergencies.
- Company Protocol: Understanding company policies and expectations around safety can support a safer work environment.
Escalating Technology Budgets
In manufacturing, efficiency equals greater profitability. To improve processes and reduce error rates, manufacturers of all sizes are turning to more robust software and automation.
For example, cloud-based applications like warehouse management systems (WMS) have become more and more popular as warehouses turn away from outdated paper processes. A WMS is a digital platform that supports productivity by building packing lists, keeping track of your inventory, providing data on your everyday operations and more.
While additional funds may be needed to purchase a warehouse management system (WMS) license for your warehouse, the potential ROI can be worth the expense.
If you have not already implemented a WMS, consider doing so to stay competitive in the next year.
Customized Industrial Manipulators
In 2022, it’s more important than ever that employees are staying safe while able to quickly and effectively get their jobs done. Investing in customized industrial manipulators will allow them to do both.
Industrial manipulators provide a simplified way to transport products within your manufacturing warehouse or storage area, minimizing the burden on employees for retrieving hard-to-reach or heavy products. By purchasing a manipulator customized to your manufacturing space and needs, you ensure the effective implementation of the device.
While industrial manipulators support a safer and healthier work environment for employees, they also create a more efficient environment. Industrial manipulators can reduce the number of employees needed to move materials while increasing the inventory rate. Overall, this enhances productivity for your company, allowing you to delegate your workers where they are needed most.
Let’s Work Together This Year
As you look toward the following year, you cannot afford to continue to do business as usual. It takes a proactive approach to mitigate supply chain issues, manage your workforce effectively and improve your operations.
By expanding your supply chain, transitioning to technology, developing your workforce and investing in new equipment, you can work toward more secure and profitable manufacturing practices in 2022.
Are you ready to invest in a game-changing industrial manipulator for your warehouse? Contact us today to learn more about how our customized machines can help your business.