We love our Country here at Godlan, so some recent chatter about increases in manufacturing output and demand, as well as the need for qualified individuals to join the manufacturing industry (thus creating a demand for "reshoring") peaks our interest.
First, you have to understand reshoring. Reshoring is a critical component to the manufacturing renaissance that we seem to be experiencing.
For quite a while now, we have all been aware of some manufacturers opening production facilities in other countries and outsourcing production to companies outside the USA. It gave manufacturing a bit of a bad reputation. Some manufacturers sent American jobs overseas and to various parts of the world. Enter in child labor, sweat shops, suicide nets, and manufacturing is officially viewed as a heartless ogre. Now, remember, this is a very simplified explanation of where some of the negativity began.
So, as the world economy has changed, and some other countries are showing new levels of sophistication, it is becoming a question as to whether or not it really is more cost effective to perpetuate offshoring.
As software and manufacturing technology has become more advanced in the U.S. there is a clear path to bringing production home. According to reshorenow.org, the top four reasons for the US to reshore are:
1. Bring jobs back to the USA
2. Help balance U.S., state, and local budgets
3. Motivates recruits to enter the skilled manufacturing workforce, and
4. Strengthens the defense industrial base.
They also give a beneficial list of reasons for companies to get involved as well.
So, as manufacturing continues to see steady growth, will that translate into a need for skilled labor? Yes, but maybe not the kind of labor you are thinking.
Recently, I lived in a city where there was a tremendous amount of manufacturing. There was one employer in particular that consistently paid to bring workers over from Europe for 12-18 month contracts. I kept thinking, this can't be cheap....
It's not; but for whatever reason these workers have specialized engineering and technical knowledge that is clearly not that easy to come by.
For far too long, manufacturing jobs have been viewed as labor intensive, shop floor kind of positions. Like the image of Laverne and Shirley working in the bottling factory . . . Put on your safety glasses! We're going to work!
I am not saying that these jobs aren't still available - and very necessary for continued manufacturing growth, I am saying that we are lacking in a different kind of manufacturing worker (or enough of them) - the kind that has advanced technology training, or an engineering background. As our ERP and EAM systems become increasingly sophisticated, so is the need for a new level of sophistication within our manufacturing jobs.
Along with the manufacturing renaissance that seems to be occurring, we are also beginning to experience a renaissance in state-of-the-art enterprise software and the highly skilled team of users who can begin to tap its true potential.
There is rarely a single silver bullet for success, but here’s one to consider: Be purposeful in deploying advanced enterprise software designed for your business -AND- hire a team that is capable and committed to using it as a competitive weapon.