Moving Manufacturing Forward in the Midst of a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every industry in some way, including manufacturing. At the beginning of the pandemic, the industry all but shut down, except for manufacturers that were creating crucial products. Even in March, over 35% of manufacturers were experiencing supply chain disruptions, and that number has continued to grow over the last several months.

Now, as many areas are starting to re-open with precautions in place, how will the industry move forward? How will they bounce back?

One thing that almost everyone can agree on is the fact that permanent changes need to occur. But, what are those changes, and how can the industry capitalize on them now in order to stay afloat?

Adopting JIT Manufacturing

In light of the pandemic, consumers tend to be spending less money and buying longer-lasting goods. That will continue to slow down manufacturing as fewer products are needed.

One solution to that problem is to adopt a JIT manufacturing approach. Just-In-Time Manufacturing helps to reduce flow times as well as expenses by only providing what is needed to customers across the globe. It reduces the time it takes to get a product into the hands of suppliers, but it is also risky if the markets do pick up again and there is an increased demand for things.

Improving Equipment Efficiency

Though it may not feel like the right time to make a purchase, it’s a good idea to look at your equipment. If it is old or outdated, it’s likely not running efficiently. That could be wasting energy, time, and money. Additionally, it may not be performing as well as it should, which could compromise the quality of the products you’re creating.

Obtaining machine tool financing for improved industrial equipment is a great way to make upgrades to your business without having to compromise cashflow.

It’s also a good idea to start looking toward automation. If you had to make cutbacks on your employees at the beginning of the pandemic, automated machinery and processes can make your life easier. Again, automation equipment is an investment but can end up saving you money over time and removes the risk of human error.

Increasing Supply Chain Transparency

Unfortunately, supply chain disruptions are likely to continue for quite some time, since we are still in the midst of this pandemic. But, by using technology to create a more transparent relationship with suppliers, you can be better prepared for any hiccups in the chain. Visibility is key, so work with everyone on your supply chain to make sure there is constant communication.

It’s difficult to tell exactly how the manufacturing industry will continue to be impacted by COVID-19. Now that there has been a resurgence of cases in some states, consumer habits may change yet again. By implementing some of these practices, you can keep your manufacturing business above water in the midst of this pandemic and beyond, ensuring that you can continue to produce and deliver whatever is needed across the globe.