The 5 Biggest Challenges for Manufacturing Today

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Manufacturing project management software guide

According to Deloitte1, the 5 biggest challenges for manufacturing today revolve around:

1. Supply Chain Issues

You need to make sure that everything that moves through your supply chain is in sync, and that all the people and machines are where they should be. The way you do that is by using the right software to coordinate all your activities.

All your parts and people produce an ever-growing mountain of data. What your software does is to gather and organize all that data in a central location, so that everyone who needs to can access all that information.

So when the arrival of parts at your factory in Florida are delayed because of a driver’s dispute in Michigan, you won’t have to pay for people and machinery, as they sit idly on the factory floor waiting for everything to arrive.

Because crucially, all those data sets are being updated in real time. And are constantly available for everyone to have access to.

2. Labor Shortages

“We estimate a shortfall of 2.1 million skilled jobs by 2030.”1

Today’s employees want to feel that they’re actively contributing to where they work, that they’re making a difference. But too many of them keep getting asked to do things they’re over-qualified for, or that they haven’t been properly trained for – hence the great resignation.

That’s because companies are constantly taking on projects they’re not capable of delivering on, because they think they can’t afford to say no. So the wrong people end up working on the wrong projects, as companies struggle to cope with their workload.

So it’s absolutely vital that you employ a sophisticated software solution to help with capacity planning, and to ensure that you manage your resources as efficiently and as effectively as possible.

3. Smart Factories

“Smart factories are one of the keys to driving competitiveness.”1

Technology is transforming the factory floor. Next generation robots now include self-driving vehicles, drones and ‘cobots’, robots that work in collaboration with, or next to you. As well as increasingly efficient machines that count, catalogue, store or collect, so workers are freed up to perform more productive tasks.

We now get analytics from everywhere, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the bandwidth that 5G gives us. So all the parts, products and machines, the things, have sensors producing reams of data, that get analyzed and organized via the Internet.

So you need to be able to efficiently manage and organize all those data, and to ensure that everything is constantly updated, in real time.

4. Cybersecurity

All the things that make smart factories possible also make manufacturing especially vulnerable to cyberattacks. Spyware, ransomware, malware and trojan horses are increasingly used to blackmail companies and target commercially sensitive data. Which can then be sold to rivals or used to produce fakes.

The most common vulnerabilities come from the continued use of legacy software. It’s not fiendishly sophisticated technology that make today’s cyber criminals so dangerous. They’re just relying on the fact that most businesses are too busy, or don’t fully appreciate how important it is, to update their software.

5. ESG Investment

“Investors, boards, customers, employees, and policymakers continue to focus on ESG (as) a business imperative.”1

Environmental, social and governance factors are fundamental. You need to be able to demonstrate that how you source, make and distribute whatever service or product you provide is done in a way that you can stand over.

The way you demonstrate all of that is with metrics. In other words, it all comes down to data.

Once your data is managed and organized in a centralized depository by your software, you can access any of those metrics whenever anyone asks you for them.

As Deloitte concludes,

“Centralizing a manufacturing control tower can bring together data from different facilities, production lines, and equipment.”1

Thriving amid challenges depends on how well companies manage projects and plan their portfolios. So that everything is carefully and effortlessly shepherded from inception to delivery. And the only way you can do that is with the right software solution.

Learn more

Find out how Cora makes you the ‘control tower’ by checking out our Project Management Software Buyers’ Guide for Manufacturers


1. Manufacturing Industry Outlook by Deloitte.

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