How to Solve the Manufacturing Talent Gap: Unlock People Potential with Cloud ERP

  • Innovation and Technology

As a manufacturer, you face some tough hiring challenges. A 2016 report from IDG states that nearly one third of those surveyed list the lack of skilled workers as a major obstacle to growth, one which must be addressed to grow effectively.

Pinpointing the Technical Skills Gap

No doubt one concern is replacing experienced, retiring employees. Even if that's not a problem for you, you likely still have a challenge attracting younger workers interested in factory jobs combined with a lack of internal technical resources to address current business operations. What you really need is a way to not only attract talent to fill needed roles but also deploy technical people in the most effective way possible.

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What new technical skills are required today to address business operations? Consider this: you gather incredible amounts of data from an increasingly connected manufacturing environment. Yet it’s a challenge making use of that data to govern processes, drive faster decisions, and build machine-to-machine communications so that machines use the data they need to make autonomous production decisions. Oftentimes, technical resources needed to work these problems and design solutions are tied up maintaining software and databases.

Unlocking Your People Potential 

Many manufacturers are making the move to cloud ERP, which modernizes their environment. Cloud ERP centralizes data, in some cases offers versionless software to eliminate upgrades and the need to manage software and hardware infrastructure. But a cloud based ERP software offers other benefits that some don’t consider which address skills shortages:

  1. Cloud ERP frees companies to use their technical resources on other high-value projects.
  2. Cloud ERP promotes a modern manufacturing environment that helps attract cutting-edge, young talent.

By moving to cloud ERP, companies can free-up technical resources that were managing software and hardware infrastructure to address new challenges, like managing massive amounts of machine data and improving production processes. A survey conducted by Mint Jutras found that 93 percent of Plex customers did just that—pivoted their technical resources that had previously managed ERP software to manage higher-value projects. These companies are truly unlocking and unleashing their people potential by moving to the cloud.

Secondly, we’ve all seen the popular GE commercials reinventing their brand by hiring young software engineers and welcoming innovative ideas to show they are a digital company. This is done to break the mold of being a stereotypical industrial company so that they can attract young talent, from coders to analytics gurus.

Attracting Young Talent

We’ve all seen the popular GE commercials reinventing their brand by hiring young software engineers and welcoming innovative ideas to show they are a digital company. This is done to break the mold of being a stereotypical industrial company so that they can attract young talent, from coders to analytics gurus.

Most manufacturers understand this dilemma, and those moving to the cloud are—perhaps unknowingly—reinventing their brand. They are ahead of the game, embracing innovation and laying the foundation for increased automation, higher levels of mobility throughout the enterprise, better data management, and doing more with less. Results from the Plex 2016 State of Manufacturing Technology Report reveal  that data analysis skills are as important to manufacturers in the next generation of employees as engineering skills. This aligns to what the new generation of tech employee is looking for—young talent wants to work with data and analytics, robotics, cloud software, and innovative ideas and products. Becoming a modern manufacturer conveys a more forward-thinking, advanced technology environment more likely to attract a new breed of much-needed talent.

The skills gap is complicated and we have a long way to go to fully remove it as an obstacle, but those embracing cloud ERP have realized unexpected benefits. Modern manufacturers win by focusing their best and brightest on the toughest challenges, while paving the way for the next generation of new blood to make their mark.

For more, please see the 2016 State of Manufacturing Technology Report.

2016 State of Manufacturing Technology Report

Read this report to discover how leading manufacturers use emerging technologies to improve their plant productivity.

Learn More