Workforce is, unarguably, the number one concern for manufacturers in Northeast Ohio. A strong workforce is essential for sustainability and growth; no workforce means no manufacturing, and no manufacturing means no economy.
On a smaller scale, workforce is necessary for driving production, increasing sales, innovating, and growing individual companies. As such, workforce has huge impacts both on individual companies and on the overall economy. The fact that the majority of manufacturing companies are struggling in the area of workforce development is extremely significant.
Perhaps your company struggles to find qualified applicants. Perhaps your company finds it challenging to retain competent employees. Regardless of your challenge, MAGNET seeks to help you address your workforce quandaries and ultimately grow your business.
In order to find and retain competent workers you need to understand the changing landscape of today’s workforce. This requires identifying why fewer students are entering the manufacturing industry, and what your company can do to change that. Understanding what is deterring students from entering the industry is necessary in order to change the trend. Additionally, you must have a clear vision of your growth plan and recognize how the impact of the changing workforce landscape, if not approached strategically, will hinder these plans for growth.
We all wish it were easy to find competent, talented workers, but it’s not. Nevertheless, there are strategies that can aid you in your search for the ideal workforce. Your company doesn’t need just any workers- it needs the right workers.
You need workers that are the right fit for your company, have the right skills, and most importantly, have the right attitude. These people aren’t waiting to be plucked off the street, but they can be found. They are hanging in certain groups on the internet, browsing specific sites, searching specific things. If you know the type of worker you are looking for, you can target your audience and avoid wasting time looking in the wrong places.
Finding great workers requires more than simply searching for someone to fill a specific position as the need arises. Workforce development, at its core, is not a game of cause and effect. Your goal, as a company seeking to strategically develop its workforce, is not to address independent problems as they arise.
Rather, your goal must be to build an army of the right people. With a strong workforce base, you won’t have to solve an overwhelming number of small problems- because those problems won’t exist. In other words, the key to workforce success is being proactive rather than reactive.
With the right people you get the right results: increased efficiency, increased profits, and increased growth. It’s important that your proactive approach includes management of your talent supply chain. Are your employees happy? If not, it is important to find out why, since unhappy workers are the soonest to leave. Face-to-face conversations and open lines of communication are crucial to the vitality of your company.
Part of MAGNET’s mission is to address the issue of workforce development. Our upcoming event on August 6th, Develop Your Workforce for Growth, will directly address this widespread and essential issue. We urge you to attend this event focused on solutions for a full range of workforce challenges. Attendees will hear from three local manufacturers who ensured their company’s growth by building comprehensive plans to address workforce concerns.
HEADLINE The survey definitively shows that product innovation leads to more growth, while “grow your own workforce” strategies will be needed to fill the major labor shortages hampering small manufacturer growth. Emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and digital manufacturing are beginning to enhance innovation and productivity, but still have significant room for adoption amongst Ohio’s small manufacturing businesses. ABOUT THE SURVEY Under the direction of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP), MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network conducted a thorough survey of Ohio’s manufacturing base. Contributing approximately 20% of Ohio’s jobs (and driving in some regions up to 50% of Ohio’s economy), and generating a disproportionate amount of export revenues and Gross Regional Product, manufacturing is critical to Ohio. Greater than 95% of Ohio’s manufacturers are small (under 500 employees), and these manufacturers need to remain competitive both nationally and internationally to ensure our economy’s health. Ohio’s Development Services Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which runs the MEP, recognizes the importance of this sector and fuels MAGNET and the Ohio MEP program to directly serve and support innovation, efficiency, and growth in small and medium manufacturers. What manufacturers need
How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Can Help Keep Our Engineers Safe and Our Manufacturing Strong Recall how difficult it was to put together complex LEGO creations when you were a child or helping a child. Now, picture assembling a fighter plane from a room full of parts. Even highly trained engineers can benefit from technology to help improve consistency and quality. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are making near-perfect assembly a possibility in the manufacturing space. By wearing AR glasses that use cameras, depth sensors and motion sensors to overlay images onto the real working environment, engineers and factory workers can visualize the exact bolts, parts, part numbers and instructions on how to assemble a particular component correctly. Lockheed Martin began using AR goggles and improved F-35 assembly time by 30 percent, in addition to increasing accuracy to 96 percent. In order to remain competitive, businesses should consider the ways VR and AR can improve efficiency and supply chain productivity. According to a recent BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research report, AR platforms can provide companies up to 25 percent in cost savings on installation of equipment. Here are four ways VR/AR is disrupting the mid-market manufacturing space:
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