As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact businesses around the globe, industrial manufacturers are facing challenges on numerous fronts. Unlike most industries, manufacturing jobs are primarily on-site and are not able to be done remotely. Secondly, industrial manufacturers were greatly impacted since there has been a decline in demand for industrial products in the US and globally due to slowed economic activity. Furthermore, the outbreak caused major disruptions in the global supply chain, impacting the day to day operations of industrial manufacturers.
According to a recent survey of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), 78% of manufacturers expected the pandemic would have a financial impact on their business. Although the majority of manufacturers expected an impact, most are not aware of the actions they can take to help their business. While working to combat the negative impact of COVID-19, industrial manufacturers should be mindful of two things. First, ensuring the ongoing safety of their employees should be a top priority. Secondly, it is important to work towards reducing the risk of any future disruption to their business. Now, as organizations begin to recover and restart their operations, there are many opportunities for transformation. Below are a few ways in which manufacturers can keep their business up and running by leveraging a variety of solutions.
Here’s What Industrial Manufacturers Can Do to Survive:
1. Leverage Technology Solutions
In a recent study from PWC, 71% of respondents noted financial impact including effects on operations was a top concern for their manufacturing business. Furthermore, 41% were most concerned about the effects on their workforce and reduction in productivity. Manufacturers can benefit both from implementing ERP software, as well as having their ERP deployed in the cloud. Choosing an ERP provider that allows for cloud deployment will afford you the ability to pivot in reaction to market demand. Additionally, it gives you the flexibility and agility to make better future business decisions based on historical data. Adding users and additional modules is simple and quick. ERP software like Epicor ERP enables mobile capabilities so you can stay connected to each other, with a disaster recovery back up, just in case. A connected enterprise supports automated workflows and allow higher visibility throughout your entire business.
2. Have a Business Continuity Plan in Place
The COVID-19 crisis greatly increased risk for all businesses, with many experiencing issues in both supply and demand. For manufacturers, there was greater uncertainty in their supply chain as some vendors and suppliers will most likely face operational and financial struggles of their own. Since keeping high productivity levels is a primary concern for most manufacturers, having a plan in place to help mitigate risk of downtime is crucial. At the onset of the pandemic, manufacturers with a business continuity plan were able to quickly pivot and adapt to the changing business environment. The pandemic reinforced the importance of having a business continuity plan in place to ensure operational effectiveness following events like a pandemic or natural disaster.
3. Consider Outsourcing Business Functions
Considering the widening impact of COVID-19, industrial manufacturers may find it beneficial outsource some corporate functions. Whether it be moving your on-premise software to the cloud or outsourcing IT, these changes can help to reduce operational costs and provide greater benefits to your business. Even outside the COVID-19 pandemic, IT plays an important role for industrial manufacturers to help maintain competitive advantages and ensure the security of their data. Outsourcing core IT functions allows your IT staff to focus on strategic business objectives instead of the data-to-day break fix and maintenance activities.
The impact of COVID-19 completely transformed the way businesses are operating and will have long-lasting effects on manufacturing organizations and their workers. As COVID-19 evolved into a global crisis, the pandemic presented many challenges that required collaboration and adaptability to address. Although COVID-19 left a negative impact on the manufacturing industry, it’s important for your business to reimagine how operations are going to continue after the pandemic and beyond. By adopting new technologies, manufacturers have the opportunity to streamline their digital transformation and emerge from COVID-19 with greater productivity levels and enhanced collaboration capabilities.
Reach out to our team of experts to learn more about the ways you can help your manufacturing business survive during these times and beyond.