Top 10 Manufacturing Industry Challenges To Look Out For

Supriya Saxena

Senior Writer

Manufacturing Industry Challenges

With the need for over 700,000 workers in the next decade, the manufacturing industry is growing at an exponential rate. Moreover, the industry is expected to increase faster than the general economy, due to increased exports and capital growth. 

10 Challenges for Manufacturing Industry to Watch Out

However, this growth has come with its own set of challenges. Let us have a look at the top manufacturing industry challenges and their potential solutions. 

1. Lack of Skilled Workers  

Manufacturing industries often suffer when it comes to hiring skilled labor. It happens because the younger professionals do not fully understand the industry’s workings, and the older workers are on the brink of retirement. 

As per a study conducted by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte Consulting, 22% of the manufacturing industry workers will be retiring in the next ten years. 

The solution for this lies in training unskilled workers and helping them find opportunities to become a manufacturer.

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Moreover, some of the community colleges are also offering programs to overcome the skilled labor gap. Thus, helping resolve one of the most common manufacturing industry challenges. 

2. Inventory and Project Management

Managing inventory is one of the biggest challenges faced by manufacturing industries. You need to manage your employees and also fulfill your orders amidst managing the hiccups of running a business. 

If you cannot stay on top of your inventory management, it will impact your sales and manufacturing orders in the long run.  

To overcome this problem, you can invest in software that can help you automate your inventory management. Interestingly, ERP software allows you to schedule your projects and complete them on time. 

Furthermore, it empowers you to scale your business and eliminate management issues.

3. Changing Consumer Trends

While a decade back, customers were interested in finding products that could help them save money. This was also the reason why manufacturing companies outsourced product making to countries having cheaper labor. Thus, saving a lot on manufacturing costs.

However, in the current scenario, customers want quality and ethically made products. Moreover, they are eager to know about the product cycle.

A potential solution for this issue is that you do thorough market research. Articles, case studies, and market analysis can help you understand the common problems. This will help you focus on building a trustworthy brand that works on providing customer satisfaction.

4. Direct Sales   

Selling directly to your customer is one of the major manufacturing industry challenges you will need to overcome. As more people turn to e-commerce platforms, product making businesses have cut out intermediaries and sell their products themselves. However, with more control comes greater responsibility and even greater risk.

To handle everything, including marketing, manufacturing, supply chain management, and selling, you must invest in software that can help you centralize your business. Many product-making enterprises are shifting to production management software to streamline productions and manage their sales channels.

5. Scaling Your Business  

Another major challenge you will face is deciding when to scale your business. If you choose to scale up to early or too late, it can lead to your company’s massive losses. This is because you will end up underutilizing or over utilizing your resources, miss out on potential clients, and fail to deliver your orders.

To overcome these issues, you need to have a clear idea of your market and make sure that the manufacturing products are perfect.

Another solution is to perform a product life-cycle management process. This involves studying every aspect of the product and identifying the loopholes. Moreover, it will help you gauge how your products are performing in the market.

Furthermore, if your products are not performing well, it doesn’t mean that you are not ready to scale. However, it might mean that it is time to ditch the product and avoid building dead stock.

6. Globalization                                   

Manufacturing industry challenges associated with globalization are similar to issues that you face when selling directly to consumers.  

While globalization will give your business more freedom to choose suppliers and gain access to a broader audience, there could be some risks. You cannot forget that your competitors also have access to the same growth opportunities.

To gain an edge over your competitors, you could consider selling internationally, leveraging your online presence, and finding the right tools to manage the logistics and trading laws across nations.

Lastly, you will still need to streamline your manufacturing process as a more massive supply chain will lead to longer manufacturing time. 

7. Attracting Qualified Leads 

Over time, traditional marketing strategies are becoming less effective. You cannot only make a website and hope it gains traction. If you wish to get your rankings high, you need to make a dedicated effort on your part.    

Unfortunately, this isn’t a straightforward fix, but if you focus on perfecting your landing pages, you’ll be able to increase your visibility. 

While there is no straightforward fix for this, you need to ensure that you make great landing pages. This will help you increase the visibility of your website.

Moreover, the best thing you can do to drive traffic to your website is to generate and distribute original content. These include blogs, case studies, eBooks, and infographics. 

8. Increasing Revenue and Sales

As your business grows over time, increasing your revenue and sales will become trickier. One of the major manufacturing industry challenges is streamlining production flows in response to the number of manufactured products.

However, you can stay a step ahead by regularly analyzing your business performance. This will help you find out ways to improve your manufacturing process and compensate for the increased workload.

This could be as simple as simplifying your inventory and practicing different methods for storing material.

It is also possible that you find a faster product delivery method that could help you bring in new clients.

9. Maintenance and Overheads  

With time, figuring out your manufacturing overheads (i.e.) the total costs involved will be another major challenge. Moreover, when you begin selling more products, your tools will be used more, and your overheads will increase.   

An ideal solution is to build a roadmap and follow it strictly. This will help you identify areas where bottlenecks occur and even figure out the tools required to expedite the manufacturing process.

In the long run, this will help you deal with tools that need regular maintenance and help you lower your manufacturing costs. 

10. Automation    

A critical challenge faced by manufacturing industries is finding the right tools to support their manufacturing operations. With the advent of technology, manufacturers are under strain to fulfill larger orders. 

However, manufacturers can invest in scheduling software and eliminate the manufacturing challenges with an easy-to-use visual dashboard and reporting features. 

These are some of the challenges faced by manufacturers. However, the right use of technology and analytics can help them overcome these challenges with ease.

Did we miss out on any aspect? Let us know in the comments section below!

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