Progress is an interesting thing.
For every step forward, there seem to be two steps backwards. This has been the case for generations and will likely continue as long as humans continue to work to better themselves.
Despite these obstacles, however, one industry that appears to be embracing progress in 2023 is manufacturing.
In this post-Covid environment, as inflation soars and yet another recession lurks in the shadows, many businesses are struggling to retain – or grow — their financial standing with less at their disposal.
… And while making more than you spend is generally the goal in the business world, today’s economic circumstances make this task increasingly more difficult than it was before.
Add to this the fact that qualified employees are becoming more difficult to find in the applicant pool and you can see why many industry leaders have begun searching for answers in areas they may have previously overlooked.
This is the mindset of many in the manufacturing world today as we make our way further into the new year.
With this financial uncertainty, however, has come a steady rise in automation investment as many find the use of a MES to be the saving grace for companies who, ultimately, need to produce more in a world that continues to offer them less.
And it looks like, yes, more will be expected out of the manufacturing industry in 2023 if we are to believe the promises of the Biden administration.
In Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address, President Biden took a moment to specifically call out the manufacturing industry and proclaim his belief that America will be the world leader in this sector once again.
Diving into the topic, the President stated early in his speech that the “middle class was hollowed out” for decades as, “too many good paying manufacturing jobs moved overseas” leaving many domestic factories to close.
Touting his administration’s creation of upwards of “800,000 good paying manufacturing jobs” (which he claims is the fastest growth in 40 years) the President asked Congress“Where it is written that America can’t lead the world in manufacturing again?”
Though many of President Biden’s statements have left some questioning his facts, the idea that manufacturing appears to be taking center stage in early 2023 has left many in the industry hopeful for the months to come.
One such individual is president and CEO of the national Association of Manufacturers, Jay Timmons who, in his recent press release, noted that the Biden administration should be “commended for the historic, bipartisan accomplishments” that have helped spur “new manufacturing jobs.”
Timmons also stated, however, that he felt the administration should focus less on restricting pharmaceutical innovation and destructive tax increases and, instead, work with Congress to, “immediately reinstate critical tax deductions for the costs of research, machinery purchases and key business investments” noting his belief such actions are “essential to keep up the pace of manufacturing job creation and to out-innovate and outcompete China.”
This is just one of many criticisms the current administration is likely to confront in the weeks ahead as they work to bring the American manufacturing industry back to its glory days.
And, though the end results of this undertaking appear to have complete bipartisan support, the path chosen to return the U.S. to their standing as the world’s manufacturing leader is still being hotly debated in DC.
Yet, America’s return to the glory days of manufacturing is just what many in the industry have been waiting for and, as such, many industry leaders have already begun investing in digitally transforming their facilities.
That being said, businesses that understand and embrace automation, not just as a focused cost-cutting project, but as an opportunity to transform legacy business and IT processes into a fully synchronized, smart workflow will be well positioned to confront whatever the future may throw at them.
Those companies that don’t take that inevitable leap into automation now will end up spending a fortune on a variety of software that, in the end, will more than likely not solve any of their problems.
In his press release, Vice President of Gartner Inc Research Fabrizio Biscotti states his belief that, in today’s ever-evolving world, now more than ever, “Hyper-automation has shifted from an option to a condition of survival.”
The future does, indeed, look bright for manufacturers in 2023.
And while nobody can say for certain whether the Biden administration will live up to their long list of promises to the struggling industry before their term in office is over, there’s one thing of which we can be certain…
Those investing in the benefits of automation today will be more likely to continue to be successful tomorrow.
There’s no sense fighting the future. It is coming whether we want it to or not.
It makes sense, then, that the best option is to embrace the change, making sure you’re prepared for it when it does finally come – and, indeed, it will come.
I think Bob Dylan phrased it best when he said, “The times, they are a-changin’.”
Yes, they are and, when they do, will you be ready?