23 Nov
2023

Labor Shortages in Manufacturing - How Production Monitoring Can Help

With labor shortages continuing to cause substantial losses in the manufacturing sector, it’s time to consider production monitoring as one the tools to help alleviate some of the losses.

Production Monitoring
Labor Shortage
Skills Gap
Labor Shortages in Manufacturing - How Production Monitoring Can Help
Production Monitoring
Production Monitoring
Labor Shortage
Labor Shortage
Skills Gap
Skills Gap
Food & Beverages Processing
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Consumer Product Goods
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Material Building & Construction
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Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)
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Pharmaceuticals & Supplements
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Packaging & Co-manufacturing
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Labor shortages are prevalent in virtually every workplace but especially in manufacturing. Manufacturers, and certain sectors of manufacturing, such as food manufacturing are already under pressure with issues such as eroding profit margins. Add to this, the challenge of attracting both skilled and unskilled workers, the resulting need for existing workers to take on increased responsibilities, and the stress is palpable.

From CME’s 2022 Labour and Skills Survey:

“Labour shortages are causing a wide range of negative impacts on the sector. Based on our survey, the biggest ones faced by manufacturers are delivery delays (61 per cent), increased costs (46 per ent), and negative mental health impacts on current employees (41 percent). The latter impact is particularly worrisome because it tends to compound labor shortages, as work-related stress and poor mental health have been cited as major reasons for absenteeism, occupational disability, and early retirements.”

Further from this report:

"Along with delivery delays, some manufacturers are also being left with no choice but to turn down new orders because of a lack of workers. Among those surveyed, 62 per cent reported facing such costs over the past 12 months. Together, they come at a significant cost to industry in the form of penalties for late delivery and lost business opportunities. In fact, the companies surveyed reported combined losses of $1.1 billion over the past year, or $2.8 million per company, due to lost or turned down contracts and penalties for late delivery. This is consistent with total losses of $7.2 billion for the entire manufacturing sector.”

Labor and skills shortages among manufacturers and exporters have cost the economy nearly $13 billion. This isn't a shortage, it's a looming crisis.

It’s evident that companies need solutions that will ease the burden of fewer skilled workers, or even workers at all, being available, while remaining competitive. Production Monitoring can be part of the answer, with a compelling case to be made that it can address labor shortages as well as improve manufacturing businesses in other ways.

Companies that are pioneering production monitoring solutions to reduce downtime or increase productivity are finding positive impacts related to labor management as well. Production monitoring can provide the following competitive advantages for manufacturing businesses looking to overcome labor shortages:

Production Efficiencies - the simplest way to reduce dependence upon scarce labor resources is to reduce the need for labor to begin with. Production monitoring is proven to maximize the use of existing resources.

Unskilled Workers - directly connecting data gathering capabilities to production machinery reduces the burden on production staff to gather production data. It not only reduces time-consuming data gathering and data entry tasks but improves the completeness and accuracy of manufacturing data.

Customized Dashboards - newly hired workers may not be familiar with manufacturing process improvement programs, and may be confused or even be intimidated by requirements to report production upsets and downtime, to offer solutions to improve production outcomes, to troubleshoot equipment or to interpret information related to their job. Real-time machine monitoring enables instantaneous notifications of downtime so that workers are not stranded with inoperable machinery any longer than necessary. Customized production dashboards can create simplicity and clarity for workers who are on the line (literally) for production results.

Predictive Maintenance - skilled maintenance roles can be amongst the most difficult to fill. Filling these roles can be even more difficult when these workers need to be continuously ‘on standby’ waiting for equipment failures to occur. No one likes their weekends, family time, or vacations interrupted by a call in the middle of the night to bring a factory back online. Predictive maintenance capabilities reduce surprise equipment failures and decrease both dependence upon maintenance staff as well as turn-over among maintenance staff who ‘can’t take it anymore’.

These are just a few ways that production monitoring can help companies to combat existing labor shortages and prepare to deal with the even more dire labor shortages to come.

Interested in learning we can help your manufacturing business manage the existing labor shortage? Book a Demo!





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