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The challenges facing the manufacturing sector

The challenges facing the manufacturing sector

The challenges facing the manufacturing sector 

The short- and long-term issues manufacturers need to overcome

Every industry in the UK is still recovering from the impacts of Covid-19, Brexit, and economic changes, and the manufacturing sector is no different. To add to these challenges, your business maybe complex, with inefficiencies to manage and new problems to face every day.  
 
Manufacturing businesses that want to thrive need to proactively address the challenges facing them, regardless of complexity.  

The tip of the iceberg: less-complex manufacturing challenges 

Many manufacturing businesses are focusing on the challenges facing their production output and business goals as they are more obvious, and the effects can be seen on a daily basis. However, these mask the deeper and wider issues effecting their business and production goals. Short- and long-term effects from the industry could be having a hidden and costly effect on your business.   

Defining business goals

Having faced many challenges over the last couple of years, now is the time for your organisation to look at your goals to see how you can prepare for the future. This includes looking at operational efficiencies, profitability, stability, productivity, employee safety, and cash flow.  

Managing production pressures in manufacturing

Production pressures are an expected issue to overcome every day. This includes: 
Ensuring they have the right tool for the job 
Having a machining strategy in place 
Managing technical support 
Using processes that can be repeated to ensure high manufacturing standards 
Addressing cycle time, quality, and machining capacity  
 
And a major challenge facing you might be facing right now is cost-per-part.  

Addressing cost-per-part with MSC

The manufacturing sector is competitive, so you might have slim profit margins. This is where cost-per-part becomes a problem. How does any manufacturing business of any size work with a supplier who can support their cost-per-part goals? How do they know they are operating best practice and making the most money they can? At MSC we can help. 

More complex challenges manufacturing companies need to prepare for 

From short-term pressures like the impacts of Covid-19, to longer-term challenges like digitalisation and the skills gap, engineering and manufacturing companies need to tackle both to ensure their future success.  

Short-term pressures

Like many other industries, manufacturing and engineering companies are still managing the impacts of Covid-19, but there are also other challenges you need to consider including: 
 
Supply chain agility 
Winning new orders 
Production planning 
Cross department collaboration 
Business order book retention  
 
Once the short-term challenges are addressed, engineering and manufacturing companies need to address three key long-term pressures.  

Longer-term challenges to address

From becoming more digitally driven to reducing their impacts on the environment, you need to address three long-term pressures.  
 
Digitalisation: to help accelerate your transformation post-Covid, it’s likely that you need to undergo a digital transformation. This includes looking at ways to harness and utilise data to allow faster decisions to be made and improve productivity, efficiency, profitability, and competitiveness.  
Reduce environmental impacts: with a growing focus on climate change, the UK government has introduced a ‘build back greener’ strategy with a goal to reduce emissions as close to zero as possible. This affects almost all industries, but engineering companies have a key role to play in reducing their carbon footprint and reduce their pollution.  
Addressing the skills gap: Companies across all the STEM industries are facing the same challenge, a lack of talent. This means that you will likely be struggling to recruit to fill your gaps, and it’s looking like it will only get worse. Your business can’t just focus on recruiting the same expertise you’ve always had. To survive many manufacturing companies have needed to diversify, and this need isn’t going away. So, recruitment needs to focus on the skills you need now, but also looking forward to the future. 
 
Engineering companies may also be facing challenges like globalisation, reshoring, autonomous production, new technology, and big data.  

How MSC are supporting new talent in the engineering sector

One-way companies may look to recruit and train their new employees is through an apprenticeship scheme. These schemes can help businesses with innovation, technological advancements, productivity, competitiveness, and profitability, as well as increasing their workforce.  
 
MSC have partnered with Next Gen Makers, a best practice apprenticeship business, to help solve the engineering skills gap, futureproof engineering business and attract, retain, and develop top talent.  

Investing in people and partnership

It can be difficult to address the short-term day-to-day pressures without considering the implications of those longer-term issues. But, for businesses to survive they need to invest in people and partnerships. This is where MSC comes in. We can support you through many of the challenges facing the engineering sector now and, in the future, including digitalisation, skills shortage, and profitability. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you.  

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