Engineering manufacturing is defined by the ability to design, manufacture, and distribute your products. By handling every step of the supply chain, you are in a uniquely advantageous position to fulfill individual creativity and maximize profits.
This means you’re set up for any windfall that comes with success, but also any backlash that comes with failure. Supremely autonomous, the ultimate success of your manufacturing business will depend on the efficiency of your company alone — all successes, and failures, start and end with you.
This is not to say that the engineering manufacturing industry is a gamble. While it might seem like a high-risk/high-reward proposition, the industry is currently experiencing rapid growth and is projected to continue on a promising trajectory.
History of engineering manufacturing
In order to look ahead to the future of engineering manufacturing, we first have to look backward and understand the trends that got us to where we are today. Engineering manufacturing has long been a staple of the American economy. The Industrial Revolution of the early 20th century — and other subsequent manufacturing movements to follow — solidified America as a world leader in commerce, infrastructure, and international trade.
Today, unlike the turn of the century, the U.S. economy depends on more than just manufacturing. What once was the primary source of American power now shares the table with other industries such as technology, telecommunications, and oil. While global competition, which produces products at an increasingly competitive rate, is putting pressure on American manufacturing, there is still plenty of reason to be excited about this industry.
Many would have you believe that manufacturing within the U.S. is a thing of the past. Don’t listen — thanks to developments in AI, machine learning, and automation, engineering manufacturing is more efficient than ever before.
The common fallacy is that robots will soon take over our jobs. When it comes to engineering manufacturing, these technological advancements are actually a way of promoting job security, not threatening it. According to Forbes, AI has the potential to increase the value of manufacturing by up to $2 trillion. Machine learning helps deliver unprecedented insights to help improve product quality and production yields. This is great news for anyone who is looking to buy a business in this sector.
Today, the U.S. remains the world’s largest manufacturer, and is responsible for 18.2 percent of global goods. Aided by these emerging technologies, the U.S. is poised to continue leading manufacturing worldwide.
While it’s true that manufacturing used to contribute a larger amount to our country’s GDP, there is still plenty of reason to be optimistic about this industry in today’s age. Engineering manufacturing offers a unique entrepreneurial opportunity in that you can be almost entirely self-sufficient. This niche of the manufacturing industry allows businesses the resources to design and create products in-house. This makes your company a one-stop-shop solution within the supply chain in which you can control all elements of product development and distribution.
What the future holds
A major challenge that engineering manufacturing faces is the skill gap. As the industry continues to grow, employers may find it difficult to find talent. As Baby Boomers retire out of the field, there will be millions of job openings, and it’s possible there won’t be enough incoming talent to fill those roles.
According to a Deloitte study, 89 per cent of employers in the industry agree that there is a talent
shortage in manufacturing. Two major factors contributing to the unsustainable skill gap include:
- First, as America continues to grow at the second-fastest rate in the history of the country, manufacturing businesses struggle to keep pace. In order to remain sustainable, the industry needs to introduce nearly 2 million new jobs within the next decade.
- Second, the manufacturing industry is faced with a bit of a branding issue. As Baby Boomers retire out of positions, the industry needs Millennials to take over in their absence. But they’re not. Leaders attribute Millennial hesitancy to industry misconceptions and shifting skill sets brought on by advanced technologies. Either way, the manufacturing industry needs a marketing makeover in order to recruit young talent.
Hope is not lost. Manufacturing businesses should look to adapt rather than force a new workforce into an old operational model. It is time to build on multigenerational skills. This means increasing college outreach programs. This means hiring outside of the manufacturing skillset and recruiting computer scientists to improve the efficiency of machine learning. This means, above all else, embracing automation and hiring talent that can work alongside new technologies.
Rest assured that while the engineering manufacturing industry has its fair share of issues, it ultimately has a promising outlook. Have a look through the businesses for sale in this sector and find the one that will help you to leap forward to success.