How Manufacturers Can Solve Their Hiring Challenges

Jan. 25, 2017
As a manufacturer, you face some tough hiring challenges. What you really need is a way to both deploy the technical people you already have in the most effective way possible and attract new talent to fill needed roles.

As a manufacturer, you face some tough hiring challenges. One concern is replacing experienced, retiring employees. Another problem is attracting younger workers interested in manufacturing jobs who also have the skills to manage technical resources that address business operations.

What you really need is a way to both deploy the technical people you already have in the most effective way possible and attract new talent.

Focusing Your Technical People on Value-Added Tasks

In simply running your business, you gather incredible amounts of data from an increasingly connected manufacturing environment. Yet it’s a challenge to make use of that data to govern processes, drive faster decisions, and build machine-to-machine communications so that machines use the data to make autonomous production decisions. The problem is your technical people are tied up maintaining software and databases when they could be working these problems and designing solutions that have a real impact on how your business can operate more efficiently.

Many manufacturers are making the move to cloud ERP, which modernizes their environment. Cloud ERP also centralizes data and in some cases offers versionless ERP software to eliminate upgrades and the need to manage software and hardware infrastructure. Another key benefit to the cloud is that it frees up your technical people so they can focus on other high-value projects, like managing massive amounts of machine data and improving production processes. A survey conducted by Mint Jutras found that 93 percent of Plex customers did just that—pivoted their technical resources that had previously managed ERP software to manage higher-value projects. These companies are truly unlocking and unleashing their people potential by moving to the cloud.

Attracting New Talent by Reinventing the Manufacturing Industry “Brand”

Recent GE commercials reinventing their brand focus on young software engineers and welcoming innovative ideas in an effort to show that they are a digital company. It’s a conscious effort to break the mold of a stereotypical industrial company so that they can attract young talent, from coders to analytics gurus. Manufacturing is no different. It’s time to reinvent the perception of the manufacturing industry.

Manufacturers who have moved to the cloud are—perhaps unknowingly—reinventing their brand. They are ahead of the game, embracing innovation and laying the foundation for increased automation, higher levels of mobility throughout the enterprise, better data management, and doing more with less. Results from the 2016 State of Manufacturing Technology Report reveal that data analysis skills are as important to manufacturers in the next generation of employees as engineering skills. This aligns to what the new generation of tech employee is looking for—young talent wants to work with data and analytics, robotics, cloud software, and innovative ideas and products. Becoming a modern manufacturer conveys a more forward-thinking, advanced technology environment more likely to attract a new breed of much-needed talent.

The skills gap is complicated and we have a long way to go to fully remove it as an obstacle, but those embracing cloud ERP have realized unexpected benefits. Modern manufacturers win by focusing their best and brightest on the toughest challenges, while paving the way for the next generation of new blood to make their mark.

For more insights download the 2016 State of Manufacturing Technology Report.

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