The manufacturing industry is dedicated to the transformation of raw materials to final goods, ready for the direct commercialization or commercialization through distribution channels tasked with moving product to diverse public destinations. Therefore, experts consider the industry as a secondary sector of the economy of any nation given that a primary sector oversees obtaining and processing materials in raw forms. The development of industrial manufacturing activities can have positive effects in the growth of an economy. For example, during the first year of the current president’s term, the United States has created manufacturing jobs at a greater rate. However, this is not necessarily because of the current administration. Other factors play a pivotal role. Nevertheless, working in the manufacturing industry is worth considering as the sector is now growing.
More Employment Opportunities
In this new connected world where practically every aspect of business and society involves the implementation of some sort of technology, the manufacturing industry plays a vital role as a source of employment. The United States has added 138,000 jobs in the manufacturing industry, which is an improvement from the statistics of the 34,000 factory jobs lost the previous year during the same period. Furthermore, the US has maintained the initiative of bringing back manufacturing jobs by renegotiating trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada. This opens the possibility to create more industry-specific employment.
The manufacturing industry, however, relies on a weak dollar as it depends greatly on the ability to export product overseas. Therefore, a high dollar value will create a more expensive product, which is less attractive to foreign buyers. Regardless, the political climate is creating the environment perfect for opportunity. Whether job seekers are looking for roles in the industry or employment in areas that will grow as a result, training will be needed. Educational programs that develop knowledge in supply chain and operations management or specialty schools such as the automotive & diesel technology college in NY will train the next generation of workers.
Competitive Advantages and Innovation
The development of competitive advantage is a crucial piece to the manufacturing industry, where companies in the sector must establish differences that prove to be an improvement over their competition. Even in difficult economic times, these advantages should provide a clear distinction. More so, companies can trace their competitive advantages to their current situation in terms of production systems and manufacturing innovations. For example, the Internet of Things (IoT) has created a new business model with a high potential for changing nearly any industry. This technology is leading the digital transformation by helping manage, understand, and use volumes of data captured by an array of connected devices. Businesses that can use the data to improve will have a clear advantage.
In the industrial sector, the implication is that the digital world is converging with the physical world by using information technology and communications with the goal of transforming traditional industrial processes and modifying areas of productivity. Under this context, the manufacturing industry is facing change in various fronts such as advances in the process of production, materials, and automation, among other changes set forth by technology derived from this new era of production. Therefore, many job opportunities are surfacing for individuals with experience in technological implementation in different areas of industrial processing by using creative techniques. For example, using new trends such as environmentally friendly alternatives create new industries with fields that did not previously exist, such as in SeQuential biodiesel.
New Challenge for the Manufacturing Industry
With the internet, access to data, and connected devices that store information, a new valuable resource emerges, and this connectivity allows businesses to build smarter supply chains, manufacturing processes, and ecosystems. Furthermore, organizations need to decide on where and how to invest in technology and identify where the company draws the greatest benefit, thus changing the model and creating a new competitive landscape. The technologies include the use of artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the internet of things all with the potential to improve processes, increase collaboration, and reduce costs and all are predicted to continue to grow in adoption. For example, experts estimate artificial intelligence to grow to $72 billion by 2022 while the use of blockchain will grow by more than 61 percent. With the choices available, the manufacturing industry needs to clearly articulate business objectives and understand where they fit within ecosystem of the emerging technologies. Job opportunities will surface as this understanding takes place.
These new challenges benefit individuals looking for jobs in these sectors. The ecosystems and the integration of the supply chains will create new opportunities and employment for individuals with creative and innovative capabilities. Even with the expectations in the physical and digital technologies, implementation has not been widely successful given the lack of understanding in many of these fields. Even small specialized companies selling durable tungsten carbide wear parts in Saginaw, MI, will benefit from supply chain connectivity. However, the know-how is critical for success. Companies of any size should understand the indispensable nature of forming part of an integrated supply chain and the value derived from collaboration. Others will often ignore the benefits, thus creating further possibilities in the sector by providing possible training and education programs that will increase information and use.
The economic conditions are generating a reduction in the size of industrial work sectors, creating the segmentation of tasks and an externalization of production phases. If new job sectors created by the development of new technologies are added to the mix, the inverse process of returning industrial jobs to the city can be visualized. The refocus of industrial jobs to cities produce certain advantages. For example, these spaces can use access to roads, trains, and airports to their benefit, helping the movements of product and people. Furthermore, social, cultural, educational, and environmental services are within reach and at lower costs.
Companies can easily externalize work. These organization outsource with such ease because of globalization trends and interorganizational contacts where synergetic relationships are developed between corporations. Therefore, organizations can work on core competencies while relying on supply chain partners for improved performed in areas that the other companies specializes in. What this ultimately leads to are lower labor costs, lower transportation costs, and a higher sales potential. These options create job opportunities in the manufacturing industry because new opportunities arise from the outsourcing or externalization of activities, specifically in specialty sectors such as communications and technology.
The manufacturing industry supported by innovation are a reality that requires a solid foundation to create a strategy that can benefit from the advantages that new tendencies are creating. The reliance on physical infrastructure needed to easily manage the processes of a supply chain and the growing need for trained and experienced staff provides the perfect opportunity to develop skill sets mixing experience and knowledge required for jobs in the manufacturing sector. From scrap metal recycling in Newark, NJ, to an organization in Ohio that uses said metals in their manufacturing processes, companies will continue to evolve and will need a workforce with the technological skills to find creative and innovative solutions for new problems.