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Manufacturing Industry Updates

3 Actions to Gain a Competitive Advantage


The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) today released “A Manufacturing Marshall Plan,” that maps out how companies can prevent post-pandemic supply chain disruptions, advance their manufacturing productivity and reskill workforces.

The white paper advocates for reshoring, nearshoring and LeanShoring™ together with an increased focus on Industry 4.0 innovations. It also advocates for enhanced education and training offerings to create a stronger workforce. According to the white paper, these three actions will provide manufacturers with a competitive advantage, as well as boost productivity and improve sustainable resilience.

According to A Manufacturing Marshall Plan, manufacturers need to undergo a supply chain renaissance to avoid future supply chain disruptions and takeovers from global competitors. The paper suggests implementing new operational strategies and technologies, and offers resources to establish a domestic supply chain.

In addition to developing a domestic supply chain, manufacturers need to increase productivity, efficiency, speed and quality to maintain competitiveness. All of which, the white paper says, requires the digitalization of production.

“By pairing a connected environment of data, people, processes, services, systems and IOT-enabled industrial assets with the generation and use of actionable data, manufacturers can realize smart industries and ecosystems that foster innovation and collaboration,” AME stated. “Unfortunately, the Industry 4.0 and this digital revolution creates additional demands for millions of new skilled jobs.”

Workers in smart factories require digital fluency, technological savviness and data analytics know-how, according to A Manufacturing Marshall Plan. Previous generations did not require this knowledge and a skills gap with future generations remains today, according to AME.

To close the skills gap, the white paper outlines groups of employers, community colleges, workforce agencies, intermediaries, youth programs, labor organizations and policy experts that are advancing apprenticeships and work-based learning strategies as workforce development and talent solutions.