With Millennials poised to surpass Baby Boomers as the biggest generation with a workforce that currently exceeds 53 million, manufacturing needs to start taking steps to ensure its jobs appeal to this group. Estimates show that 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will be needed in the next ten years, and more than half of these – 2 million – are likely go unfilled.
Why is an industry that makes up 12 percent of the GDP and whose workers earn $26 an hour on average failing to appeal to this generation? Part of the problem is the misconception that these jobs are labor-intensive and don’t pay very well. With many unskilled tasks now being automated, the current situation in the industry calls for a highly skilled workforce with technical expertise.
The internet and smartphones have always been a way of life for Millennials, many of whom embrace collaboration and mobility. Manufacturing can attract these workers to the industry by highlighting its extensive use of cutting-edge technology.
One such approach that can bring a lot of value is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. While these systems used to concentrate mostly on functionality, ease of use is now one of the most important considerations. Dashboards integrating ERP with solutions such as WMS and CRM along with email and analytics enable workers to multitask. Push notifications can eliminate the need to search for information, while alerts can be set when specific events crop up.
Another aspect that will appeal to Millennials is the fact that 98 percent of manufacturers are expected to use mobility solutions by the year 2020. This lends itself to telecommuting and flexible work schedules while boosting productivity. Users can carry out tasks like inventory adjustments, shipment monitoring, and financial analysis from anywhere they happen to be. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is also a growing trend, with 63 percent of manufacturing firms already allowing their workers to use this approach.
This blog post was based off of an article from Manufacturing Business Technology. View the original here.