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What Are Six Challenges Faced by Today’s Manufacturing Plants?

What Are Six Challenges Faced by Today’s Manufacturing Plants?

The world of manufacturing is evolving, along with all technology, at such fast rates that many manufacturers have a hard time keeping pace. Due to budgetary constraints, many plants are struggling to keep up with the competition. Below, we go over six of the major problems that manufacturers grapple with each year.

  1. Outdated Technology

Many plants have razor-thin profit margins. This doesn’t allow them to purchase the latest technology. Though some really amazing new machines can automate practically every process, they come at a high price tag. How can you take advantage of this technology on your current budget?

  1. Regulatory Compliance and Traceability

Industry regulations are increasing each year. They’re aimed at ensuring that products don’t go out to consumers that are unsafe. There’s an additional burden in the requirement to trace every item produced. Though regulations differ from one country to the next, there’s every reason to think this trend will continue. When consumers buy products that are found to contain asbestos, mercury, cyanide, and other harmful elements, it can ruin your reputation and trigger lawsuits. Those investigating events like this need to be able to learn where those harmful ingredients originated.

  1. Aging Work Force

Baby boomers are retiring every day in America. These were skilled, hard-working people who knew the value of a dollar. Their retirement is leaving a huge gap in the American workforce. One man worked in the printing industry for 40 years and knew how to run and repair any type of printing press. How will the industry replace workers like these? It takes a lifetime to acquire knowledge and skills like that. That’s one of the major issues that manufacturing, and many industries are facing today.

  1. Keeping Products Relevant

Each time a new smartphone comes out, it causes older models to become obsolete. This is happening with almost every product line. From hair dryers to air fryers, new innovative products continually hit the market. Manufacturing companies spend a great deal of time and money just trying to keep up with what’s going on in the marketplace. There’s a huge temptation to skimp on tests and trials to make sure the product is safe to use. Sometimes companies use cheaper materials, and these can result in product failures and lawsuits.

  1. Beating Out the Competition

Fast times to market often mean that companies must hurry through important steps in the manufacturing process. In addition, product preferences change very quickly. What if your plant is making a circuit board for laptops, but new technology suddenly renders it obsolete? This will cause delays that eat away at your profits. It’s hard on your management and your workforce.

  1. Healthcare Costs

Most workers now expect some type of healthcare plan from their employer. But rising healthcare costs have put a huge strain on the already fragile manufacturing cost structures. If your plant employs 100 workers and healthcare for each one costs $600 a month, how can you recoup that $60,000 a month? Often manufacturers try to factor costs like this into the final price of their products, but then you risk losing out because some other plant can supply the same item for 20 percent less. There’s seemingly no solution for problems like this.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Manufacturers deal with issues like these every day. From compliance to having complete visibility into global supply chains, there’s an endless number of issues facing small manufacturing plants. If you make items like medical devices, the demands are even greater.

One area that all manufacturers deal with is technology. When your employees are working with the best networks, computers, apps, etc. they can get more done and reduce frustration. Mistakes are also reduced along with overtime.

Using the right technology for your industry is a proven way to crank out a better product at a lower price. Your technology investment is an investment in the future of your business. And you will realize a good solid return.

Ways to Win

It’s also important to keep equipment functioning at optimal levels. Regular preventive maintenance can help. Update your programs often. Invest in faster networks, routers, and computers. Don’t forget about replacing worn out wires and cables. When you perform regular proactive maintenance on all your equipment, you can prevent expensive breakdowns. You can keep your employees working and reduce accidents as well. That’s a win-win for everyone.

Contact Us

Manufacturing companies know they can trust mProactive with all their technology needs. We can help you discover new ways to cut costs, improve your workflow and reduce downtime. Contact us at (724) 261-3034 or at sales@mproactive.com to learn more.

How Can Small to Medium Size Manufacturing Firms Get the Extra IT Help They Need?

How Can Small to Medium Size Manufacturing Firms Get the Extra IT Help They Need?

Better IT for Small to Medium Size Manufacturing Companies 

(Questions/Answers)

With your manufacturing company growing, increasing technology demands can overload your IT department. And when you need to implement new projects, your IT department may have to work overtime. This is not only expensive when you have to pay them for overtime, but overworked techs can make mistakes that can cost you even more. There’s a great solution to this age-old problem, and it’s simple and inexpensive to implement: Hire an outside IT person. 

Is Extra Tech Help Expensive?

Your in-house tech team usually handles day-to-day tasks like computers that crash. They work to set up new employees with all their log-in credentials. And, they can set up new workstations. This type of work goes on regularly at every manufacturing firm.

{Company} can take all those mundane chores off their plate so they can focus on more important projects.  When your in-house techs aren’t so overworked, their time is freed up so they can work on increasing efficiency for everyone. They can fix areas where work seems to get congested. This is a common problem for small manufacturing plants. Your in-house IT techs have the skills to deal with issues like this, but they often don’t have the time. When you have outsourced IT help, this problem is solved.

The team at {company} will work alongside your existing in-house IT team to get everything done each day. Your IT personnel won’t be replaced — They’ll receive the help they need so your technology doesn’t suffer.

What Benefits Will Bringing on An Outside Tech Provide?

An outside IT tech is usually well skilled and can handle a wide variety of duties. They will have a background working with all types of servers, computers, and programs. They can augment your IT staffing on many different levels to maximize your capabilities. And this solution is usually no more expensive than having your IT team work overtime. With salaries for these employees what they are, overtime pay can be hard on any budget.

An outsourced tech offers diversity and other services that are critical to your manufacturing company’s success. Organizations that grow too fast suffer by not having the resources to maintain and monitor their IT assets properly. Computers may go down with no one to fix them right away. This leaves your employees sitting around waiting all day, resulting in lost time and lost money.

How Will This Affect Cybersecurity? 

Another critical area is cybersecurity. Manufacturing firms are being hit by viruses and ransomware every day. Just one incident can trigger an investigation. The rules and procedures for handling data breaches are getting tougher. The public has demanded change in this area. And many companies are responding to these needs. But others feel that it’s too expensive to improve their cybersecurity.

When you work with an outsourced IT service company, they can assess your security protocols and make recommendations for changes. They’ll also train your staff on how to avoid being the victim of a phishing scam. If they can save your manufacturing firm from just one security breach, they’ve earned their keep. Because the latest figures show that one security breach costs around $1.3 million, and it can take months to recover from. Plus, it damages your company’s reputation.

Will Costs Be Controlled & Predictable?

Outsourcing usually comes at a set monthly rate that can be included in your budget as an operating expense. It’s a predictable monthly cost that’s affordable. If your manufacturing firm no longer needs extra IT help, then it’s easy to end the contract. If you ever need help again, you’ve got an excellent resource that can come in and lend a hand as needed.

What Other Services Can Extra IT Help Provide?

Regardless of the type of manufacturing you do, you can benefit from these and many other IT services:

  • Network monitoring & maintenance
  • Cloud resources
  • Maintenance of computers
  • Help with Microsoft Office 365
  • SQL Server help and maintenance
  • Assistance with Microsoft Exchange& SharePoint
  • Overall IT security
  • Security Training
  • Patching& Updates
  • Assessments&Audits
  • Compliance with various regulations

When you need an extra hand or two, an experienced tech from {company} can support your IT department and elevate your manufacturing business to the next level. 

Manufacturing companies trust mProactive with all their technology and digital marketing needs. Contact us at (724) 261-3034 or at sales@mproactive.com to learn more!

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