From front to back, manufacturers are struggling to secure skilled labor. As the labor shortage continues, however, so must productivity — which is why technology is becoming so important.
According to Deloitte, smart manufacturers are increasingly leveraging technology to mitigate their labor woes. When it comes to staying competitive, technology is your friend. Here are five technologies manufacturers may need during a labor shortage.
1. Supply chain management software
Thanks to the labor shortage, there are simply fewer eyes watching the everyday operation of the company. Supply chain management (SCM) software helps mitigate this gap.
Among its many abilities, proper SCM can assist in managing inventories, product life cycles and order management, according to Oracle. By increasing overall visibility, manufacturers retain insight into the supply chain and stay competitive, organized and compliant.
2. Artificial intelligence
The continued success of the manufacturing industry will largely depend on the growth of artificial intelligence.
As AI becomes smarter, manufacturers are able to better leverage their applications. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2023 at least 50% of large global companies will be using AI and advanced analytics in supply chain operations.
With reduced manpower, maintaining pace is more important than ever. When it comes to crunching numbers, no automation tool does it better than AI. Manufacturers therefore can streamline data analysis and fulfill orders as quickly as possible.
Robots are no longer an idea of the future — they're here and they're ready to work. Manufacturers, especially, have an opportunity to experience the cutting edge of cost effective robotic technology.
Robots can be programmed to perform many tasks well beyond the regular hours of the workday. They streamline productivity by performing these duties more efficiently, precisely and without fatigue. Robots are an especially vital asset to manufacturers whose businesses have lost revenue during the labor shortage.
Digitization refers to the practice of putting physical resources into digital format. Simple, right?
The cost-benefit of digitizing physical assets can't be overlooked, especially during a labor crisis. Storing assets in the cloud makes them more accessible, locatable and secure across the entire supply.
From end to end, creating a digitized infrastructure streamlines supply chain logistics and helps manufacturers paint a clear picture of their daily operation.
5. Predictive analytics
What if you were able to predict supply chain disruptions before they actually happened? Well, with machine learning, you actually can. Manufacturers are using machine learning's predictive analytics to forecast disruptions in the supply chain.
Whether those disruptions are inventory, fulfillment or production related, machine learning is able to predict where and when they will occur. This gives manufacturers time to adjust, avoid or even prevent potential disaster. At a time when managers can't afford to take their pedal off the metal, the ability to avoid complications is an essential asset.
To their benefit, manufacturers have an ample selection of technologies to implement in their operations. If they use them wisely, they'll survive long after their labor shortage subsides.