Article | December 8, 2021
The new manufacturing industry outlook for 2022 is what businesses desire. Due to COVID-19, the sector has seen several ups and downs in recent years. But the industry overcame the most difficult situation by adopting innovations as their working hands.
But all this upgrading and digitalization in manufacturing isn't for everyone. Some manufacturers may struggle with this change, while others may not. So, taking into account all industry segments, we have compiled a list of potential manufacturing challenges for 2022.
“Many companies simply are not willing to change or think they are done once they make a change. But the truth is that technology, consumer demands; the way we work, human needs and much more are constantly changing.”
– Michael Walton, Director, Industry Executive (Manufacturing) at Microsoft
The summary of manufacturing industry challenges and industry outlook for 2022 are presented in the stats below.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), four million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed over the next decade, and 2.1 million will likely go unfulfilled unless we motivate more people to pursue modern manufacturing occupations.
According to PTC, 70% of companies have or are working on a digital transformation plan.
According to Adobe, 60% of marketers feel technology has increased competitiveness.
The statistics show that while digitalization facilitates the process, it also poses several challenges that must be addressed in the coming years. Let's explore what obstacles manufacturers may face in 2022.
The Manufacturing Industry Challenges in 2022
The manufacturing business has had a difficult few years as a result of the current economic downturn, and 2022 may not be even that smooth. Thought, technology, and current trends make the operations of upscale manufacturers easier, but not everyone is on the same page.
Let's look at some of the manufacturing challenges that businesses will face in the next year.
Skilled Labor Shortage
The manufacturing industry is facing a workforce shortfall as a skilled generation prepares to retire. Industry experts say that by 2025, there will be between 2 and 3.5 million unfilled manufacturing jobs. As a result of the advancement of new technologies, manufacturing organisations are finding themselves with fewer personnel. They do, however, require individuals with a diverse range of abilities, such as mathematicians and analytic thinkers, to accomplish the tasks with precision.
Specific manufacturing tasks have been automated to save time and money. Industry has adopted machine sensors to capture large amounts of data. With this kind of innovation, the industry's job structure is changing and the desire to hire an untrained or trainable workforce is slowly fading in the industry. However, using augmented reality and virtual reality, manufacturers can easily train personnel for the job and save money.
Lack of Ability to Mine Data
Manufacturing is progressively using IoT. The majority of businesses have already installed or are planning to install Internet of Things machines. These smart machines let businesses collect data to improve production and conduct predictive maintenance. But getting data is a simple task. The difficult aspect is analyzing and aggregating data.
Despite possessing the machines, most companies lack the systems to analyze and retrieve the data recorded by the systems. In this way, the industries are missing a vital opportunity. The industry must improve data mining capabilities to make better decisions in real-time.
Using IoT for analytics and predictive maintenance is critical. Monitoring technologies can help the sector examine data quickly. It can also help predict an asset's maintenance period. As a result, the industry will move from replacement to predict and fix.
Self-service Web Portals That Is Extremely Detailed and Precise
Manufacturing businesses usually strive for on-time order delivery and optimum revenue. However, consumer self-service, which has been in the industry for a long time, has never proven to be a simple walk for clients. Clients are frequently required to pick up the phone and contact manufacturers in order to track their orders and receive delivery estimates. This is hardly the service one would expect from a manufacturer, even more so in today's digital era.
The term customers in manufacturing include partners, end-users, and subcontractors. These three clients have distinct requirements and concerns about collaborating with the manufacturer. Companies can better serve their customers if their partner and end-customer portals are linked to a central hub which we can mention as self-service web portals.
All of the information and updates they need about their orders will be available to them through this new system. They can track, accept and amend their tasks. They'll also use the self–service portal to contact the manufacturer.
In this way, manufacturers can better serve their customers. A system like this will ensure that all parties have access to timely information in a digital format.
Meeting the Deadline for the Project
Product launch timelines are extremely demanding, tight, and stringent. Every project in the assembly line is about cost, time, and quality. Ultimately, these projects are rigorous and well-controlled. Manufacturers who fail to meet deadlines risk losing millions in potential revenues and sales.
Due to rigidity and stringent control, companies are less able to change project scopes or make adjustments as projects develop. The majority of initiatives begin with a design commitment. As new facts or change criteria emerge, adjustment flexibility decreases. This can be aggravating for a team that expects high-quality results. Deadlines are always a constraint.
Effective Business Digital Marketing Strategy
An industry's key digital transformation challenges are driving leads, sales, and MRR through digital channels. Many manufacturing organizations struggle to efficiently use marketing channels like paid media, enterprise SEO, local SEO, content strategy, and social media. In our opinion, one of the most significant issues these organizations have is their digital experience, website design, and overall brand presentation. They can't ignore them if they want to keep enjoying the manufacturing revival.
Visibility of the Supply Chain
Manufacturers must respond to the growing demand from customers for greater transparency. In order to meet customer demand across the customer experience and product lifecycle, they must first understand that precise and real-time visibility throughout the supply chain is essential.
All details must be taken into consideration by the manufacturers. They must be aware of any delays in the arrival of products on the market. Keeping abreast of such developments would give them a leg up in terms of adjusting or rectifying the situation.
Manufacturing industry challenges have long been a part of the industry. However, industry leaders and professionals have always confronted and overcome any challenges that have come their way. The year 2022 will also be a year of achievements, setting new records, and growth for the manufacturing industry, since it will be a year in which it will develop solutions to all of the aforementioned challenges.
What is the future of manufacturing?
Manufacturers should start using AI, block chains, and robotics today. The combination of these new technologies will reshape manufacturing. A new workforce capable of augmenting these technologies is developing and will become the future of manufacturing.
How will automation affect manufacturing in 2022?
When applied properly, automation can greatly assist manufacturing. These benefits include shorter production times, faster and more efficient work than human labor, and lower production costs.
How is the manufacturing industry’s market likely to upsurge in the future?
According to BCC Research, the global manufacturing and process control market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3 percent from $86.7 billion in 2020 to $117.7 billion in 2025.
"name": "What is the future of manufacturing?",
"text": "Manufacturers should start using AI, block chains, and robotics today. The combination of these new technologies will reshape manufacturing. A new workforce capable of augmenting these technologies is developing and will become the future of manufacturing."
"name": "How will automation affect manufacturing in 2022?",
"text": "When applied properly, automation can greatly assist manufacturing. These benefits include shorter production times, faster and more efficient work than human labor, and lower production costs."
"name": "How is the manufacturing industry’s market likely to upsurge in the future?",
"text": "According to BCC Research, the global manufacturing and process control market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3 percent from $86.7 billion in 2020 to $117.7 billion in 2025."
Article | May 10, 2021
Jason Spera, picture left, recently shared his vantage of the changes for factory floor automation in 2021. Jason is CEO and Co-Founder, Aegis Software. Spera is a leader in MES/MOM software platforms for discrete manufacturers with particular expertise in electronics manufacturing. Founded in 1997, today more than 2,200 factory sites worldwide use some form of Aegis software to improve productivity and quality while meeting regulatory, compliance and traceability challenges. Spera's background as a manufacturing engineer in an electronics manufacturing company and the needs he saw in that role led to the creation of the original software products and continue to inform the vision that drives Aegis solutions, like FactoryLogix. He regularly speaks on topics surrounding factory digitization, IIoT, and Industry 4.0. Contact Jason on LinkedIn.
Article | April 27, 2021
What do you need to create a killer B2B marketing plan or scale it to support a new marketing business in the age of COVID-19? Many manufacturing companies struggled when the coronavirus started. Some of them paused all marketing activities, waited for the lockdown to end, and then made up for potential losses.
Looking at this situation, where does your business stand when it comes to marketing planning in 2021?
Simply copying and pasting the old calendar, changing dates and campaign names will be far from being sufficient for the years ahead. Instead, establishing steady and tangible SMART B2B manufacturing marketing goals, which are specific, measurable, relevant, time-bound, and flexible, is crucial for marketers. And such goals should be made every quarter and bucketed under a planned manufacturing marketing strategy.
Aren't you sure what to include in your B2B manufacturing marketing plan? Read on the following ideas that will help you do marketing in the age of COVID-19.
Redefine your Budget Season
As marketers in industrial manufacturing face planning failures such as inevitable spreadsheets, board meetings, sales, and client handling that accompany for an entire year, they're also facing dwindling budgets. So, redefining your manufacturing marketing budget in 2021 will be one of the most important aspects of marketing for manufacturers.
AMA's latest CMO Survey found that manufacturing marketers anticipate an 8.4% rise in digital marketing spending throughout 2021.
What is your digital marketing goal in 2021?
Generate double-digit leads for products and services?
Promote or launch a new product or service?
Expanding reach by ranking in Google's first search engine result page (SERP)?
Creating a proper digital marketing plan will leverage to know beyond its tip of the ice. The digital platform will keep your marketing activities on track and in one place, and you will see what's working and what doesn't. This way, you can create a solid budget to implement digital marketing in your marketing business.
A survey found that customer experience expenditure surged 10% from past years after companies started marketing budgeting. This prominently included A CRM (customer relationship management) platform. So, including a CRM will benefit your business to track and manage contacts present in your marketing pipeline.
Social Media Platforms
Interestingly, social media expenditure has soared by 74% since February 2021, and the investment by other manufacturers has paid off. Manufacturers report that social media has contributed to the company's performance 24% more after the pandemic.
In general, 62% of marketers report that the importance of social media marketing for manufacturing has grown during the pandemic due to its critical role in reaching customers digitally. It's clear that companies that already implemented digital marketing see the value of budgeting for social media, which increased the positive results of marketing. So, when you set up a new budget, include social media to grow your business.
5 Things to Consider while Marketing your Business
A Lead Scoring Model
One of the most important aspects of marketing in manufacturing is implementing a lead scoring model. Investing in it will allow you to see through the valuable metric of your leads that will make you determine which ones are qualified.
Metrics include your ideal customer's demographics such as company size, revenue, industry, and main pain points. Also, these have a number of website visits, specific page views, content downloads, contact forms, emails unlocked, engagement with social posts, and more.
Regularly evaluate your lead scoring model and update to ensure your metrics are closely related to your ideal prospect. It would lead both sales and marketing for manufacturers to identify valuable leads in your database easily.
Invest in A Video Marketing Strategy
Video Marketing is a great deal. As per Cisco's research, by 2021, videos will account for 80% of all internet traffic. In addition, being one of the internet’s traffic sources, it’s practical and reasonable. Video marketing for manufacturers has been profitable by 83%. From creating more leads per year to a rise in sales, 80% say that video marketing has aided their business significantly.
If you haven't invested in video marketing yet, or if you've only dipped your toes in the water, 2021 is the year to dive in completely. As per HubSpot's 2020 State of Marketing report, video beats content forms like blogging, email, and infographics. Also, video is the most-used marketing content type for manufacturers.
So, there are many tools and resources that make it easy to get started with video marketing. Videos help to sell industrial manufacturing products and create a brand story. So, think about it and include this when budgeting your marketing plan.
Move Beyond Basic Marketing Analytics
Through digital marketing, manufacturing marketers have been trying to determine the ROI of their efforts. But do you know that most of them have been doing a lousy job? That's because they, and the tools they use, tend to focus on things that don't matter. These include views, clicks, etc.
More than 600 manufacturers and industrial companies in the U.S. have learned that their marketing and sales are going wrong. Out of which, 35% of manufacturers are not using an analytics tool like Google Analytics. So, it is advisable to move beyond basic marketing analytics to track how much traffic is coming to your website.
The latest tools can identify companies visiting and allow salespeople to engage them in their research phase. It will result in creating and maintaining promising relationships with clients.
Content Isn't Optional
A rock-hard content marketing plan is the core of your online business's success. Keep in mind; a few blogs are not sufficient to get accurate results!
Creating content helps (by answering) your potential buyer's queries in their research process and throughout their buying journey. A survey found an online search or a blog acts as a key source for finding answers to questions.
As most sales are happening online now, Hubspot suggests that manufacturing businesses' sales will surge incredibly in 2021. An average B2B manufacturing marketing has involved 68% of stakeholders. Prospects are now making more decisions by reaching out to a company than ever before because they want your website and social channels to educate them completely. If they can't find the information on your owned channels, they might turn to your competitor's website instead.
This makes content the most important aspect of marketing. When it comes to steady and consistent lead generation for b2b manufacturers, content is at the front and center of all the B2B manufacturing marketing trends. So, take content seriously instead of keeping it just as an alternative.
What's Important for 2021?
Plan in quarters
Many companies create full-year planning calendars in November and December. The pandemic in 2020 has taught us that to plan too ahead in advance can get your business to flow in the wrong direction. Because who knows whether those plans or events would fall digitally or be back to in-person. Will your target audience be as approachable as to emails and webinars or not?
So, plan your marketing things quarterly from annual to ensure your business leads in the right way.
It's not advisable to keep an eye on one particular marketing metric, for example, tracking traffic to your website. Instead, it's the whole picture that matters.
2021 is the year to evaluate every goal, every channel, and every message related to your business. With this, think about creating a big picture as well—company positioning and values, competitive research, and even business goals.
Here are some standard audit actions recommended:
1. Conversion rates
Visitors converting to leads
Leads converting to customers
2. Email engagement
Number of sent emails
3. Revenue attribution audits
How much revenue can be credited to marketing campaigns?
4. Campaign success
How did all of the individual elements of your campaign perform? That includes:
The site and landing pages
Paid ads and PPC
How did the campaign perform against other campaigns?
5. Social media audit
Engagement by channel
Overall reach and growth
6. Funnel audit
How effectively contacts are moving through the funnel
In addition, conduct an audit and analysis vertical to ensure all the automation is taking place or running appropriately. Doing it will help your marketing team keep a constant check on all the processes and cater to you with exact marketing activities. Keep this activity active throughout the year.
Continue Shifting Budgets—Don't Be Afraid
Much of 2020 has been experimental in marketing for manufacturers. Many manufacturing companies moved away from in-person events to a webinar, shifted expensive prospect meetings to internet meetings, trade events to PPC, website, and content creation. In these cases, you might have to shift your budgeting when needed. Consider revising the budget to create advertorials, creative virtual events, and strategic lead generation tools if you plan in quarters.
Along with these, 2021 brought a good time to invest even in intent data, ABM, SEO, and other automated technologically advanced digital initiatives. According to a recent study, manufacturing companies are now 21% more likely to invest in automation and technology. As they are now inclined towards the use of webinars & virtual events (20%), search & social media (14%), and website (12%). All of these increased in light of COVID-19. So, start planning for what's sure to have a better year ahead with your marketing strategies.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the role of marketing in the manufacturing industry?
Marketing plays a pivotal role in the manufacturing industry. Through marketing, customers are well informed about products or services a company offers. Also, marketing helps in building the brand name, awareness, and visibility of a company.
How to use social media marketing in manufacturing?
Social media marketing in manufacturing can be ideally used in these ways:
Choose right platform
Share useful content
Create creative posts
Connect with in-market participants
Create videos and share
Address problems and provide solutions through content
What are the important aspects of marketing for the manufacturing industry?
Being the crucial part of any company in the manufacturing industry, essential aspects of marketing are:
How can Email Marketing help to market in the manufacturing industry?
Email marketing in the manufacturing industry can help by creating informational content. Start from offering subscription options to potential customers, clients, and visitors. Send updates, information, an overview of the company's services and products to aware the reader and convert them into loyal customers.
"name": "WHAT IS THE ROLE OF MARKETING IN THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY?",
"text": "Marketing plays a pivotal role in the manufacturing industry. Through marketing, customers are well informed about products or services a company offers. Also, marketing helps in building the brand name, awareness, and visibility of a company."
"name": "HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IN MANUFACTURING?",
"text": "Social media marketing in manufacturing can be ideally used in these ways:
Choose right platform
Share useful content
Create creative posts
Connect with in-market participants
Create videos and share
Address problems and provide solutions through content"
"name": "WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF MARKETING FOR THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY?",
"text": "Being the crucial part of any company in the manufacturing industry, essential aspects of marketing are:
"name": "HOW CAN EMAIL MARKETING HELP TO MARKET IN THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY?",
"text": "Email marketing in the manufacturing industry can help by creating informational content. Start from offering subscription options to potential customers, clients, and visitors. Send updates, information, an overview of the company's services and products to aware the reader and convert them into loyal customers."
Article | December 10, 2021
The benefits of contract manufacturing are triggering manufacturers to utilize it as a strategy to speed up production and increase revenue. According to BCC Research, the worldwide contract manufacturing industry should increase from $2.0 trillion in 2018 to $2.7 trillion in 2023, a 6.7% CAGR.
Given the growing demand, contract manufacturing has a long way to go in innovating new solutions for manufacturers.
As technology takes over and enhances many of the processes we used to handle with manual labor, we are freed up to use our minds creatively, which leads to bigger and better leaps in innovation and productivity.
– Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca
Let us look at the benefits and concept of contract manufacturing, often known as manufacturing partners in some circles.
Contract Manufacturing: Concept and Benefits
Contract manufacturing is a business model in which a company agreeswith a contract manufacturer to make components or finished goods based on the hiring company's design. In short, it is a business model in which one company hires another company to manufacture components or goods for them or their products.
The following are some of the primary advantages of contract manufacturing that attract manufacturers to adopt this concept and find a trusted supplier to manufacture any product or part of their product without much difficulty.
Cost Efficiency: In contract manufacturing, companies do not have to pay for the facility, equipment, or labor needed.
Resource Allocations: The money and resources saved through contract manufacturing can be redirected towards other company operations.
Faster Lead Times: Hiring a contract manufacturer reduces manufacturing time. This improves market speed, delivery time, and customer service.
Quality Control: Contract manufacturers are likely to have their own quality control processes in place, which allow them to spot counterfeit or damaged products early on.
Advanced Skill Sets: Companies can benefit from the skills they may not possess, but the contract manufacturer does.
Contract Manufacturing Examples
Here are some examples of contract manufacturing companies that offer manufacturing services to other businesses and work on full-service outside manufacturing projects.
Example 1: Kimball Electronics Group
Kimball Electronics Group provides a comprehensive range of electronics manufacturing services, including engineering, prototyping, testing, electronic data interchange (EDI), new product introduction, and repair depot services. Soldering, assembly, reflow, de-paneling, flux application, inspection, screen printing, testing, and rework are all processes used in their manufacturing.
Example 2: Scapa Healthcare
Scapa Healthcare, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, provides contract manufacturing services for medical and cosmetic products. Their portfolio of products includes sunscreen, silicone medical adhesives, and innovative materials. Additionally, the organization provides development, packaging, and logistics services.
Things to Consider While Selecting a Contract Manufacturing (CM) Partner
You need to know how to identify the ideal contract manufacturer for your business to accelerate production and produce high-quality items. Below, we've listed some of the most important things to keep in mind while looking for an outsourced manufacturing partner for your company.
Understanding a contract manufacturer's (CM) capabilities in terms of logistics and fulfillment is critical. Is your potential CM able to meet shifting product demands? How to use the CM's services? You may need one or more services from CM for your product, so always examine their capabilities or develop a list of their services and see which ones are valuable for you.
Knowledge or Prerequisite
A qualified, experienced, subject matter expert CM always correctly understands the requirements and delivers the services as per expectations and within the time frame specified in your production schedule. Always inquire about their qualifications or certificates in the places where your product will be manufactured.
Any contract manufacturing plan must have an agreement or compliance clause. Always inquire about the compliance procedure and thoroughly understand the terms and claws to avoid future issues.
Verify your possible contract manufacturer's personnel count. Is it easy to talk to them? Is labor skilled enough to meet the product's goals? It is critical for large-scale production and production, requiring swift responses. Any work force shortage might cause production delays.
Gear & Expertise
Check for machines and equipment as well as human labor in your possible CM. Many CM lease equipment to complete a project. So always check how the CM will organize the essential equipment for your project. Expertise in using the equipment is also necessary. Verify which machines were used and whether or not professionals were involved.
The CM's location is the main factor to check. Because the CM may have numerous plants, knowing which plant is assigned to your product is essential to knowing every aspect of its production. Also, the assembly location must allow you to visit and inspect the manufacturing between cycles.
Finding a reliable contract manufacturer with solid financial backing and market roots is essential to avoid market scams. However, you must also analyze and solve risk factors like equipment failure, supplier capacity, and unreasonable expectations.
Selection Myths of Contract Manufacturing Partner
Once you've produced a list of shortlisted contract manufacturing partners who meet all of the criteria described in the preceding heading, you can proceed by following the steps below to select the best contract manufacturing partner.
Look for Who is Willing to Invest in Your Business
Incorrect. The objective is to find a vendor prepared to manufacture at a loss. A contract manufacturer's strength is that they can stay competitive and make a profit for both parties.
Focus on Tier 1 CM Partners from the Market
This one is indeed not acceptable. Tier 1 is a financial phrase used to separate large corporations from smaller ones. You want a contract manufacturer who understands your business and your needs. Don't worry about the manufacturing partner's size.
Go Ahead with the One Who Offers the Best Services at the Lowest Price
Trying to get the cheapest quote isn't always the best idea. You should get a quote from your contract manufacturing partner, but the quote may not always reveal the complete story. Cost per unit frequently captures approximately 75% of total supply chain cost. Some contract manufacturers charge the OEM the remaining 25%. Consider the complete picture while selecting a CM partner.
Manufacturers use contract manufacturing to meet their commercial goals. Therefore, contract manufacturing is a win-win situation for both industrialists and contract manufacturers. Finding the proper contract manufacturing partner for your company is not straightforward, but our brief guide can help you identify the right manufacturing partner.
What makes a good contract manufacturer?
The most significant contract manufacturing firms are more than just supply chain partners. They recognize and treat your items as if they were their own, are meticulous in their operations, and are concerned with quality and capital.
What differentiates contract manufacturing from outsourcing?
A contract is a legally binding arrangement. It involves two or more parties. For example, outsourcing is outsourcing some tasks to an outside organization under a contract agreed upon by both parties.
What's the difference between contract manufacturing and licensing?
Contract manufacturing only outsources production phases, while licensing is far more complex. In return for fees, a corporation sells the right to utilize its intellectual property to another company. Licenses are like franchises.
"name": "What makes a good contract manufacturer?",
"text": "The most significant contract manufacturing firms are more than just supply chain partners. They recognize and treat your items as if they were their own, are meticulous in their operations, and are concerned with quality and capital."
"name": "What differentiates contract manufacturing from outsourcing?",
"text": "A contract is a legally binding arrangement. It involves two or more parties. For example, outsourcing is outsourcing some tasks to an outside organization under a contract agreed upon by both parties."
"name": "What's the difference between contract manufacturing and licensing?",
"text": "Contract manufacturing only outsources production phases, while licensing is far more complex. In return for fees, a corporation sells the right to utilize its intellectual property to another company. Licenses are like franchises."