Commentary | IT Matters

Filling the Manufacturing Skills Gap With Technology

Tags: Logistics I.T., Education & Careers, Labor Management, Manufacturing

Joe Langner is Executive Vice President of Mid-market Solutions at Sage North America, 866-996-7243

Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are growing at an accelerated rate. This is all good news for manufacturers as they are seeing an increase in orders. But along with the growth, there’s the reality that manufacturers are dealing with a skills gap.

Its tough to attract and retain the kind of talent they need to fill key positions. The talent shortage is, in part, due to a retiring baby boomer generation. And it’s not only that they are leaving, it’s that they are there is a vast amount of knowledge that is walking out the door with them.

When attracting a new generation of manufacturing workers, midsized companies don’t always have the brand name or recognition needed to catch the attention of top talent. Additionally, retaining the best of the best can be equally challenging.This is part of the reason that companies are investing in technology—to fill that gap.

There’s an increased interest in investing in technology in order to scale business, especially as the economy gets stronger. Many manufacturers are feeling the pressure to streamline their production in order to keep up with demand – and tech tools, rather than new employees, may be the first place that they invest. Forty-six percent of SMBs say that they are looking to invest in technology to both improve processes and lessen the demand for staffing increases.

Mobility, in particular, is a form of technology that many companies are seeking to use, and being pressured by their customers and contacts to use as well. It allows customers to connect with a company, without the need for an office. This ties directly into how employees are working in the modern environment. Many employees are working longer hours – including weekends – and need to be able to access important information everywhere, without having to go into the office.

Companies who are embracing mobility – including supporting the Bring Your Own Device movement – are seeing as much as an 85 percent increase in productivity. Being able to easily and accurately collect info in the field allows employees to be more efficient. Managing their time more effectively helps them get things done. This equals happier employees. When they have the tools they need to make faster decisions, they feel more empowered in their job.

For companies, being mobile is a no longer something you should do – it’s something you have to do. It just makes sense. The benefits are numerous, including an ability to conduct business when and where it happens; make faster decisions, with access to real-time information; increase employee satisfaction and overall productivity; improve sales; and provide superior customer service.

With technology, manufacturers can improve processes and reap a whole variety of benefits – often without having to make additional hires. Fill the talent gaps by improving business processes and the productivity within your existing team. The right tech tools can help you do just that.






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