Zagar Inc. congratulates many manufacturers for not only surviving the impact of the 2020 pandemic, but for actually thriving in it. There may be reason for optimism in 2021. In a recent predictive article, Forbes states manufacturers and distribution companies noted growth, however modest, during the 2020 pandemic. In the article, Forbes noted that the unprecedented disruptions to the supply chain actually had beneficial consequences. Manufacturers became faster, more responsive and more resilient than ever before. Here is our take on the pandemic impact on manufacturing in 2021.
Change in Consumer Demand.
Consumer product demands are changing, calling for inventive production methods. Many manufacturers are hastening to meet the challenge. Though some manufacturing adjustments have been happening for years, others are the immediate result of shifting consumer demands. In order to meet the changes, manufacturers will audit and adjust their processes with a close eye. As normal consumer demand resumes or evolves, pressure is building on manufacturers to produce quality products faster, at lower prices. In other words, there is a new expectation to continue meeting or exceeding the pandemic performance. To meet the demand, manufacturers will have to seek new, affordable ways to compete.
Trade war impact.
The trade war, though unrelated to the pandemic, was nearly simultaneous, and effected a double whammy on the economy. To offset the trade ware, manufacturers decided to build where they sell, and began to realize surprising benefits. The production time-to-market window and working capital requirements shrank, allowing for more resiliency. There are also fewer government policies to monitor and adhere to. Finally, localizing production and distribution answered the mounting consumer demand for a smaller carbon footprint, because less transportation is required. Building where you sell buffers against global supply chain disruptions and trade wars. It also helps factories meet shifting consumer demand. This pattern looks like it will stick, long after vaccines work their magic on a frightened population.
Emphasis on Green.
Sustainability is in demand and key to marketing, not just after the fact. Finding ways to create more green jobs while lowering waste output will become a saleable priority. With a new administration looking to revive the Paris Accord, manufacturers will be pressured to become more green and more efficient. Shortened transportation paths to consumers, more automation, and less waste all contribute to a smaller carbon footprint.
Rebuilding the Workforce.
As the supply of labor runs low in the manufacturing sector, more firms are digitizing their factory production lines. That involves sensors, machine learning, robotics, the IOT and more. More and more machines will integrate with computer control and monitoring. There is no question. The manufacturing workforce needs to be rebuilt, even in the face of increasing automation. Production work has changed. Manufacturers will have to invest in future workforces through retraining, convergence programs with local institutions, employee tuition incentives and more. The good news is that it is not too late to rebuild a workforce who can assist in the shift to smart machinery.
In the past, manufacturers have been singularly resilient in the face of change. Those changes brought improvement and strength to the industry. Regardless of the pandemic impact on manufacturing in 2021, we have every confidence that manufacturer resilience will triumph again. If you need drilling, tapping, feed units or workholding machines, Zagar reminds you that our hole making machines are designed to integrate with your smart systems. From End of Arm Tooling for Robotics, to CNC feed units, to special machines, Zagar can connect you to high production, accuracy, speed and integration. Visit https://www.zagar.com/ or email sales@Zagarinc.com today for more information.