Manufacturing assembly line denver coloradoNational Manufacturing Day, implemented by key manufacturing organizations in 2012, became official through a presidential proclamation by Barack Obama on October 2nd, 2014. The initiative was developed to raise awareness and promote the American manufacturing industry.

As an IT managed services provider for small and medium-sized business, we wanted to take the time to recognize this day for our clients in manufacturing.

What is National Manufacturing Day?

On this day (officially, October 3rd), more than 1,600 U.S. manufacturers open their factory doors to educate and inspire young people to pursue careers in manufacturing and engineering.

A celebration of innovation and technology, National Manufacturing Day is a chance for the industry to showcase the potential of American manufacturing through events that will host tens of thousands of students, parents and community members across each of the 50 states and Puerto Rico. When you think of manufacturing, what is the first image that comes to mind? For Boomers and Gen X-ers, it would likely be the Ford automotive assembly line in 1913. The development of interchangeable parts in the United States, termed the American System, marked the beginning of mass production.

The Internet of Things: Nothing All That New to Manufacturers

To the engineer in the manufacturing space, the Internet of Things (IoT), is not big news. The acronym represents an evolution in smart technology for the marketplace. To the manufacturer, machine-to-machine communication technology has been around for decades to improve efficiencies and implement safeguards. IoT is the next generation of that technology termed “smart,” now being used in consumer products; introduced to the masses. From the days of the first automobile assembly line to the development of wearables like the latest invention of Gadi Amit (creator of the Fitbit), Project Underskin. This new addition to smart technology is a digital tattoo that can exchange information – like a business card — through a handshake. Here are 10 amazing wearables showcasing the possibilities of manufacturing using IoT.

Smart Manufacturing: The Tech-Savvy Workforce

Now that technology is being utilized and virtually synonymous with manufacturing, the workforce — historically resistant to robotic technology taking over the assembly line — is now adapting. The American workforce has accepted robotic technology as the most efficient answer to the assembly line worker. Therefore, the next generation is adapting to a high-tech manufacturing industry. The onset of technology in manufacturing was a pain-point to the workforce for many years. For American manufacturers to remain competitive, educators to promote STEM education, and a movement of sorts in American society, are all clear on the critical need for a workforce with skill sets in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Check out NexusTek/BBB Technology Scholarship initiative.

A recent webcast by iBASEt incorporates experts in operations process management from leading manufacturing companies to offer an assessment of the new workforce and how manufacturers can best leverage the retiring workforce and the next generation.

iBASEt hosts this information-sharing session to raise awareness of the next generation of workers who are computer savvy, flexible, mobile and used to fast-paced graphic intensive video. According to the website transcript here, the potential for growth in manufacturing is great with the new workforce. To accomplish this though, it will take changing 20-year old procedures that include leveraging the latest media rich and 3D graphical tools.

The State of Manufacturing in the U.S.

Historically, inventors and entrepreneurs have found success through an innate passion for creating a product to solve problems.

The American manufacturer takes that idea, incorporates engineering and technology and develops the way to bring it to market.

On October 1, 2015, The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released a report on manufacturing for the month of September stating, “Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in September for the 33rd consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 76th consecutive month, say the nations supply executive.”
This report covers 18 manufacturing industries. The majority of growth was reported in:

  • Printing & Related Support Activities
  • Textile Mills
  • Furniture & Related Products
  • Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products
  • Miscellaneous Manufacturing
  • Paper Products
  • Nonmetallic Mineral ProductsIndustries that reported contraction in September are:
  • Primary Metals
  • Apparel, Leather & Allied Products
  • Petroleum & Coal Products
  • Wood Products
  • Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Component
  • Machinery
  • Computer & Electronic Products
  • Fabricated Metal
  • Plastics & Rubber
  • Transportation Equipment
  • Chemical Products

Top Concerns for Manufacturers Today

In March of this year, Silkich, one the top 35 largest CPA firms in the country, compiled a report in an effort to understand the current issue facing manufacturing and distribution industry.

The survey consisted of 30 questions – 75% of companies with annual revenues between $1 million and $100 million and 25% with annual revenue more than $100 million – resulted in five key findings:

  • Manufacturers feel a need to grow in existing markets
  • Hiring qualified workers is critical
  • Reducing operational costs will be crucial for success
  • Effective supply chain management is of extreme importance
  • Technology remains a significant challenge

Nearly 50 percent of respondents declared they are more optimistic about the U.S. economy compared to last year.

Silkich’s findings also confirmed 54 percent expect their revenue to increase by more than 5 percent this year and more than 90 percent of respondents expect the industry to, at the least, stay the same or expand over the next year.

NexusTek’s team is experienced in serving the small and medium-sized businesses operating in the manufacturing and distribution space. Contact us now for more information on how we can help the growth of your business through managing your technology and implementing business solutions. Send your questions or concerns to info@nexustek.com or call our team directly at 303-773-6464.

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