Manufacturing growth continued last year, but what does the future hold? Inflation and recession are on the minds of many business leaders, but what are the top trends – and how can you benefit from them? Based on Deloitte’s 2023 Manufacturing Industry Outlook, look for changes in three key areas: technology, talent, and supply chain. Elasto Proxy can help you leverage these trends if you need industrial rubber products, so keep reading to learn more or contact us.
Manufacturers will use data analytics to reduce risk and share forecasts with suppliers.
The Deloitte study predicts that manufacturers will continue to invest in advanced technologies that can help them mitigate risk. Over 60% of the executives who were surveyed plan to focus on robotics and automation, two potential solutions to workforce challenges. However, predicted investments in data analytics are a focus for nearly as many (60%) of the survey’s respondents. In part, that’s because manufacturers need to make sense of the data that they’re collecting in order to improve forecasting. Stronger data analytics can also accelerate value mapping and predict the impacts of material shortages.
Manufacturers who share their production forecasts with suppliers can avoid stockouts, conserve cash, and minimize business risk. The benefits can include volume discounts for smaller quantities received against a blanket purchase order. To leverage opportunities like this, companies need the ability to create and share accurate forecasts. As investments in data analytics increase, look for closer partnerships with key suppliers. At Elasto Proxy, we can import your production forecast into our enterprise resource planning (ERP) for the automatic replenishment of industrial rubber products.
Manufacturers will increase outsourcing so that they can use skilled workers more efficiently.
Despite record hiring in 2022, job openings in manufacturing are still near all-time highs. In addition to a shortage of skilled workers, employers are facing what Deloitte calls “substantial workforce churn” as employees leave jobs voluntarily. Experienced workers are especially hard to replace during the Great Resignation, and a loss of institutional knowledge can affect productivity. Deloitte predicts that manufacturers will seek to recruit more women and racially and ethnically diverse groups to the workforce while also offering more flexible arrangements, such as a combination of remote and on-site work.
Working from home isn’t an option for most assemblers, however, and training programs are needed to develop technical talent across all demographic groups. Among manufacturers who can’t find the workforce they need, look for increased outsourcing as a way to use skilled workers more efficiently. For example, a boat manufacturer who outsources gasket fabrication to Elasto Proxy can have welders spend more time joining metals and less time cutting and splicing rubber. Welders are especially hard to find and in high demand, but outsourcing can maximize other types of skilled labor, too.
#3 Supply Chain
Manufacturers will reduce vendor management costs and look for greater supplier value.
Problems like sourcing bottlenecks, global logistics backlogs, cost pressures, and cyberattacks have grown so large that 80% of the survey’s respondents reported significant supply chain disruptions in the last 12 to 18 months. Second sources can be a solution, but manufacturers need to consider the cost of onboarding new suppliers and compiling regular vendor scorecards. If a second source rarely supplies a component, or if the part isn’t critical, it’s worth weighing the cost of carrying that supplier against the possibility of extracting greater value from an existing vendor.
Manufacturers who review the full capabilities of their current vendors may discover that they can get what they need from a familiar source. For example, some customers who buy rubber gaskets from Elasto Proxy don’t realize that we can also supply them with molded rubber parts. We can even kit the parts for a build and custom package them in order of assembly. Then, because Elasto Proxy has strategically located warehouses in North American and Europe, we can bring the products you’ll need closer to you. As reshoring continues, look for more manufacturers to leverage solutions like these.
Are you ready to find solutions to technology, talent, and supply chain challenges in 2023? If you’d like to discuss how we can help you in the year ahead and beyond, contact Elasto Proxy.