It seems like there are a barrage of articles that can be referred to at any given time to assess the state of manufacturing in the United States. Some say manufacturing is up, some say its down. It's all a matter of selective stats, factors and opinion.
Looking ahead to what 2015 may hold for manufacturers is no different. There are many opinions, and plenty of articles to substantiate those opinions.
According to the ASQ 2015 Manufacturing Outlook Survey, 83% of manufacturers are expecting growth in 2015.
The ASQ survey also cited manufacturers' main challenges as the economy, and the need for skilled workers. Additional challenges for manufacturers include competition, managing growth, and raw material shortages. However, despite the challenges, 41% of organizations responding to the ASQ survey have indicated that they will be hiring staff in 2015.
ASQ CEO William Troy states, "Manufacturing is a key industry of economies worldwide and the use of performance excellence and quality systems can help organizations accelerate their growth by improving efficiencies and increasing customer loyalty."
One of the visible boosts to manufacturing has been the announcement of the manufacturing hubs throughout the country. These hubs represent confidence in continuing to grow and support the manufacturing sector. The manufacturing sector may not garner the media coverage that the retail and healthcare sectors have laid claim to, however, it is the silent partner within the economy that provides strength and stability.
In order to continue moving forward, it is important for manufacturers to challenge their thinking and utilize the current technology and efficiency trends. Taking a long hard look at your current ERP system and determining whether or not you are getting everything you need from it should be at the top of your list. According to this article in Business Review, "A fundamental principle underpinning any ERP project is that it shouldn't simply replicate existing working practices, but always look to improve, enhance and add value."
AS 2015 kicks off, perhaps like a personal New Year's Resolution to better ourselves somehow, we should resolve to take an updated approach to our current manufacturing processes and strive for more.
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