While most forecasts for Manufacturing Industry output on a worldwide basis indicate continued growth, the sector is not without its challenges. Manufacturing is highly dependent on global economic growth and spending – and is significantly impacted by global environmental, safety and traceability regulatory and compliance requirements. Shifting consumer demand, increasing domestic and offshore competition, pressure on pricing and margins, continuing volatility in energy and raw materials costs, and cost increases such as healthcare and worker’s compensation insurance continue to plague the sector. Underpinning these challenges is an ever-worsening manufacturing skill gap that is resulting in the inability to find enough good people with the required skills. As baby boomers are reaching retirement age, their departure is leaving a considerable void and skills gap in the workforce. Leadership must address this key talent gap by developing and implementing company-wide talent attraction, management, development and knowledge transfer programs and processes that improve effective hiring, retention and development of the right people, with the right skills at all levels.
Not only do you need an executive search firm to find talent, you also need leadership consulting to enhance your management staff’s abilities. Manufacturing companies must have the strategy, leadership and processes required to manage these challenges and risks, and to capitalize on the competitive opportunities they afford. Their products must be high quality and priced appropriately to remain competitive in the markets they serve, and they must be on the leading edge in product development and innovation in order to be first to market with new concepts and products. They must focus on opportunities that exist for improving the quality and breadth of their product and service offerings, reducing capital and operating costs, reducing inventory while meeting demand, reducing time to market and improving overall customer satisfaction.