If you were to travel back in time to manufacturing facilities from twenty years ago, you would notice the vast differences between those facilities and today’s facilities. Back then, each manufacturer focused on their own skills, and businesses had a larger amount of employees. Now, as we have seen even in our own business, small to medium sized manufacturers have a smaller group of employees who wear multiple hats within the business.
Since the recession hit in 2009, businesses, especially manufacturers, were forced to delegate business in a leaner manner. Lean manufacturing, as defined by the EPA, is “a business model and collection of tactical methods that emphasize eliminating non-value added activities while delivering quality products on time at least cost with greater efficiency.” Lean manufacturing, as stated in the article, has quickly been implemented by a plethora of industries in recent years.
Today, as more and more younger people are heading on different career paths and there is an increased use of automation and technology in the manufacturing process, businesses are learning to do more with less; we certainly have. However, we are hoping that as manufacturing continues to grow and come back, more college-educated people will see how other disciplines fit into the field and choose careers in the manufacturing world.
We know we aren’t the only ones faced with these challenges. Instead, lean manufacturing and the idea of working with you have has become widespread throughout the industry. Not only have businesses been forced into this survival mode because of the recent economy, but the introduction of new technologies has also lent itself to lean manufacturing. Together, we are all becoming more lean and adaptable to the quickly-changing industry.