Manufacturing in a Post-COVID World: How to Come Out on Top

August 3rd, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic hit manufacturers and our economy in an unprecedented way where demand, supply, and labor availability are all being affected simultaneously. While some organizations such as those that provide necessities like paper goods and medical supplies are struggling to meet increased demand, many others are experiencing dramatic drops in demand coupled with reduced CapEx budgets and pressure to cut operational costs. Workforce availability is decreased and inconsistent while social distancing and safety precautions have added another level of pressure on manufacturers. 

COVID-19 has undoubtedly created immediate obstacles for manufacturers everywhere. Although times remain uncertain, manufacturers who act on this “new normal” will come out on top with long-term growth. In a post-COVID world, automation will be a key component of the effort to revive domestic manufacturing.

Reduce Operator Dependency

The number one priority of any business today is to ensure a safe and healthy working environment. Manufacturing facilities all over the world are struggling to keep outbreaks at bay and many have had to shut down production for undetermined amounts of time; it is estimated that 40-50% of manufacturer’s workforce will be unable to perform their functions on-site. This is where automation comes in. Advances in automation and robotics have drastically increased productivity in all areas of manufacturing as well as reduced reliance on risky and inconsistent manual labor. According to a 2017 Forbes article, automation typically results in cost savings of 40 percent to 75 percent, with the payback ranging from several months to several years. Furthermore, the more self-sufficient manufacturing processes are, the less they’ll be affected by unexpected changes in circumstance, such as a sudden shift in the availability of the workforce. There has never been a better time to future-proof manufacturing through an investment in automation.

Diversify Supply Base

Companies that invest in the diversification of their supply base will gain a significant advantage over competitors as well as mitigate possible risk. Unexpected changes or issues in supply can be quickly and smoothly handled if you take the time in advance to source, pre-qualify, and onboard multiple suppliers. Going forward, every organization will need to re-evaluate and re-balance their supply chain to manage operations risk and uncertainty.

Future-Proof Manufacturing

Increased automation has always been on the horizon, and the companies that have already invested in modernizing their facilities have seen ROI in the form of increased productivity and long-term cost savings. If you have been justifying this investment for your facility, there has never been a better time to act to take your manufacturing operations from vulnerable to immune. Even if your facility has never used automation previously, you will see long-term and immediate benefits that outweigh the time and cost involved to implement it. Take a look to see how automated manufacturing can help your business today.

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