By Laser 1 Technologies

Millennials and Manufacturing

Millennials and Manufacturing

Tech upgrades abound in the manufacturing industry.

The days of the analog plant are over. Digital is taking over in every aspect of manufacturing, and it’s generally a good thing. Embracing new technology generally makes a business more competitive by increasing productivity and expanding opportunities.

There’s another good reason to embrace technology which may be less obvious. Consider this: In order to attract younger workers, you need to be on top of your tech game. For this reason, technological adoption is a win-win.

Attracting Younger Workers Is Crucial

The shortage of skilled labor is old news. Recruitment and retention are often cited as top-of-list challenges for manufacturers. If you want to attract a vibrant young work force, you need to demonstrate that you’ve made technology a priority.

Remember, millennials are digital natives. They were practically born with a cell phone in hand, and they are unlikely to get excited about working for a company which resists tech advances.

In order to feel engaged and challenged, they want to work in a digital, connected environment. Not only do they want to use their tech skills, they want to stay on the cutting edge. A work environment of manual time-clocks and fax machines is not going to keep them engaged.

Reinventing the Manufacturing Environment

The manufacturing industry is already at a disadvantage, with a reputation as boring, dismal and outdated. While this is increasingly false, it’s up to individual businesses and the industry as a whole to shift that impression. Embracing all things tech, ranging from developing a social media presence to digitizing inventory to making forays into the Internet of Things, is crucial to win the loyalty of today’s younger employees.

Increasing your in-house tech capabilities has other happy byproducts, such as improving mobility. With cloud computing, workers have the freedom to complete work-related tasks on their own schedule, from their chosen work space. For some positions, full-time remote work may be an option, which expands the hiring pool significantly.

Technology can also facilitate communication, at a faster pace and less location-dependent than ever. Millennials expect workplace technology to enable them to book off a shift, adjust their schedule, and communicate leave with ease.

Tech also helps improve labor efficiencies. With data analytics, highly accurate demand-based scheduling can ensure that staff always feel fully occupied and engaged while also being supported with additional help when the crunch comes.

If you know of a manufacturing company that struggles to fill positions or retain employees, ask yourself: Are they tech savvy? Are they keeping up with the times? If the answer is no, they’re doubtless due for a tech overhaul.

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