(photo: Artem Beliaikin)
30.04.2020, 20:37

Manufacturing: Bouncing Back from COVID-19

Commercial & Manufacturing Facilities, Industrial, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Despite gloomy predictions for the manufacturing sector, the hiatus in production ushered in by COVID-19 lockdowns and falling demand presents a breathing space for reviewing and streamlining operations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the manufacturing sector where many companies are struggling to remain viable, closing, or repurposing - and even funning at full capacity, to meet demand for ventilators and personal protective Equipment (PPE) . With the future looking uncertain for many industries, it is clear the manufacturing market will need to reinvigorate itself by adopting some, or all, of the following practices.

Reviewing Processes And Workflows

The pandemic has put into perspective how fragile the manufacturing infrastructure is, and has also shown where it’s weaknesses are. In the future, leaders will need to review their processes and learn from the lessons that the current crisis has taught them in order to optimise their business and avoid repeating the same mistakes again.

Once the lockdown is over, companies need to take stock of exactly what happened during the pandemic and understand how they can improve their processes. They should check each aspect of their process, from the initial order through to completion, so that every section is optimised and prepared for any future crisis.

Investing In Quality Equipment

Quality equipment might seem obvious for many manufacturing business leaders, but some are eager to cut costs by purchasing poor quality gear. Not only does this cost more in the long-term, but the pandemic has put into perspective how costly and damaging out-of-action equipment can be.

With limited access to engineers, now is the worst possible time for equipment to break down. Quality providers of gearboxes David Brown Santasalo have dedicated themselves to creating reliable, longlasting products so that manufacturing firms can rely on them. Companies should consider working with them in the future to ensure that their equipment remains reliable no matter what happens.

Embracing Remote Working

As the Coronavirus is airborne and spreads through people, most workplaces that are able to function without staff on-premises have had to close their bases and ask team members to work remotely. This forced move towards remote working has proved what many staff have believed all along; that a lot of jobs can be done from home.

Remote working isn’t entirely possible for many companies in the manufacturing industry, but in some cases, it can be useful. For example, many engineers can use remote technology to test and report back on the status of jobs or the health of machinery. Office staff can easily be moved towards remote or home working.

Remote working is beneficial for businesses in many ways, as it boosts morale and is cost-effective. As such, companies in the manufacturing space should review their operations and explore how many roles can be done remotely and adjust working practices to suit this style of working, which looks set to remain popular with staff and companies for many years to come.

Improving Resilience to Cyber Attacks

As mentioned above, the move towards remote working has presented many opportunities for companies in the manufacturing space, but it also offers a range of challenges. One of the biggest issues facing any company whose staff are operating remotely is digital security. Without strong cybersecurity practices, companies will run the risk of being hacked and having their confidential business data compromised.

For any manufacturing company with remote working team members, cybersecurity is crucial, now and moving forward. Companies will need to work with cybersecurity experts to understand the threats that hackers present and how they can adapt around them. If they don’t already, then firms will also need to create comprehensive cybersecurity practices and make sure that they are implemented by all team members, so that staff do not accidentally leave gaps in security.

Exploring Alternative Sources Of Revenue

The current situation has already drastically altered buying habits around the world, and, in the future, there is strong potential for long-term changes to the products consumers purchase and how they buy them.

As a result, the manufacturing market has to adapt and find ways to move into making the solutions that customers want, not just now but also in the future. Products such as hand sanitiser, face masks and disposable rubber gloves will probably be in high demand for several years, so manufacturers that have the capacity and expertise to create these solutions need to optimise their production processes to continue providing them.

Companies that make items that are less in demand than previously, such as furniture for physical offices and sports apparel, need to consider adjusting their focus for the foreseeable future in order to remain profitable and relevant.

Ultimately, the future looks uncertain for the entire business market. This article has outlined how the manufacturing industry can adapt to the changes it is currently seeing, and the measures companies can take to futureproof their businesses.

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