Automation Tech Helps Bring Domestic Industrial Manufacturing Jobs Home

Business.com / Marketing Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Tech might be what’s being blamed for shrinking the number of industrial jobs, but it’s also the key to reviving the sector. Here's why.

As industrialized nations transform into high-tech and service oriented economies, more and more industrial manufacturing and production jobs have been outsourced overseas.

As these jobs are lost, local economies stumble through a challenging transition as they work to get jobs back into their local economy that will be resilient in a changing landscape. 

With these challenges in mind, industrialized local economies have an unlikely friend in technology.

Yes, tech might be the thing that’s being blamed for shrinking the number of industrial jobs available, but it’s also the key to reviving the industrial sector in America. 

Technology Brings Efficiency, Which Makes U.S. Hires More Affordable 

In business, you have two options for increasing profitability and beating the competition.

  1. Lower the cost of operating and producing goods/services.
  2. Increase the profit margins on your product by raising prices and increasing value in the eyes of the consumer.  

The first option is what many companies have tried to do in the U.S. by outsourcing their manufacturing jobs to developing countries.

And the second option is an example of why companies like Mercedes-Benz can afford to hire the top automotive designers in Germany and then ship their products around the world, while collecting a healthy profit margin. 

Use software to make your operations more efficient. Companies like BaseCamp and FreedCampe are excellent tools to help teams collaborate in real-time. 

Related Article: How Do You Know If Your Business Needs Custom Software?

CMMS – Computerized Maintenance Management System  

A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is just one example of technology bringing jobs back from overseas. To fully understand what a CMMS does for businesses around the world, check out this article that covers the CMMS basics. 

There are multiple types of CMMS options available to companies, but the best are able to take care of completely managing the maintenance needs of parts in a manufacturing center.

Even in a completely automated plant, jobs are created as the CMMS advises a company when they will need to bring in onsite, or outside specialists to maintain their equipment. 

By structuring the maintenance needs of a variety of systems into a single, computer-driven workflow, companies save time and money.

Equipment is less likely to fail outside of scheduled downtime, and companies can afford to operate with less specialists on full-time duty.

In a twenty-first century economy, this represents the perfect compromise between shipping manufacturing overseas.

Don’t forget to automate team tasking to keep machines up and running 24/7. CMMS software is a great first step, but analyze your entire maintenance plan for opportunities to optimize.

Mobile collaboration and data synchronization is key to allowing your team to remain productive, moving the baton forward, no matter where they are. 

Related Article: 14 Tools to Track Key Performance Indicators for Your Business

Inventory Management 

Beyond the standard maintenance personnel that are required in order to keep a high-tech manufacturing plant fully operational, team members are required to keep track of spare parts and maintenance supplies, which in many facilities can be a full-time job.

A versatile CMMS system will help the inventory and storage teams keep track of what parts they have available, and identify parts that need to be ordered so that the maintenance team has everything they need when parts break down, or maintenance is due. 

Meet with the team handling maintenance in your facility and ask them about the weaknesses in your current processes.

Find out what supplies aren’t available on a regular basis, and up the number of reserve inventory on order.

Empower your supervisors and hands-on warehouse personnel to submit extra orders when parts and supplies are running low. 

CMMS Software Designed to Fit a Variety of Budgets 

One of the important aspects of CMMS’s is the variety of options available in the marketplace. For example, many CMMS developers offer SaaS solutions.

These “Software as a Service” (SaaS) CMMS solutions offer clients a turn-key solution to manage the needs of their business efficiently. Many industrial startups don’t have the budget to bring in an IT team onsite, 24/7 to manage servers and streamline data. 

Teams of maintenance personnel require instant communication with executives and supervisors managing plant operations. SaaS’s turnkey approach marries perfectly with the automation offered by the best CMMS solutions available.

Combine low up-front costs with intuitive interfaces that minimize the need for employee training and you have a solution that any company can use to knock their organization’s efficiency into the stratosphere. 

50 Percent of U.S. Jobs Threatened by Automation 

According to a recent report by the MIT Technology Review, nearly fifty percent of jobs currently in the U.S. are threatened by increased automation.

This means that the U.S. workforce needs to wake up and understand both the benefits and the threats that automation can mean for our livelihood.

We shouldn’t be afraid of an automated future. Instead, we should look at technology, like CMMS, to improve profitability at our favorite companies, and do our best to find a career path that dovetails with where the industry is headed. 

If we look back at the 1960s and 1970s, the U.S. blue collar worker faced tough odds for survival.

Asia became a major player in the international economy. An increased trend towards globalization started, which culminated in new international agreements, like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Related Article: What Is ERP Software & How Can It Increase Efficiency?

Suddenly industries that had been protected by tariffs and tough regulations were vulnerable to a cheap international labor force. 

Work to reeducate your workforce in the sectors that your company will be hiring in the U.S. tomorrow.

Don’t wait until their current jobs are shipped overseas. If the jobs can’t be saved, you owe your loyal employees a pathway to continue contributing, if they’re willing to take their destiny in their own hands. 

Today, we are in a modern economy that evolves at the speed of light. Stable careers are becoming increasingly scarce, so for blue collar workers, it’s either learn to work with the machines, or be phased out by them. 

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