How the skilled labour shortage in manufacturing can be eased by ERP technology
While the world of tech booms with innovation, it is arguable that the UK manufacturing sector is hindered by a skilled labour shortage.
This struggle to find the next generation of skilled workers is making it increasingly difficult for manufacturers to access the benefits of Industry 4.0.
To put it simply, the rate of innovation is outpacing the rate at which the UK labour force is being educated to fill the roles that new technologies demand.
It’s not all bad news of course. The UK government has put steps in place to fill the skills gap, but it takes time for the new generation of workers to take their place on the production line.
In the mean time, manufacturers might ask themselves what can be done to ease the pressure and to compensate for a reduced number of staff capable of filling technical jobs.
Thankfully, ERP technology is providing a viable solution to these problems – with artificial intelligence, automation and data analytics all contributing to a healthier manufacturing industry on the horizon.
We take you through a handful of the way an ERP investment can be harness to ease the current skilled labour shortage for your business.
It is an open secret that one of the ways to boost efficiency within a business is to automate tasks, but automation is rarely spoken about as a way to ease labour shortages.
The initial reaction to automation might be that tasks that can be automated are usually tasks associated with unskilled workers, but this is not the case.
The effects of automation are far reaching and can influence all aspects of your business, from sales, procurement and production management.
By reducing the number of manual tasks that your most skilled employees are expected to carry out, they can be freed to do the jobs that matter most to your business – using their technical skills to contribute real value to your business.
Don’t underestimate the importance of automation when looking to maximise expert contributions around your organisation. It can even help you attract the best talent – particularly if you’re able to say manual tasks are kept to a minimum within your business, giving staff the time and space to flourish.
Rather than being thought of as a threat to skilled workers, here tech can be thought of as playing a supporting role that can make challenging tasks more manageable.
Data and easing skilled labour shortages in manufacturing
The skilled labour shortage can be significantly eased by the rise of data analytics.
ERP technologies have considerable capacity for data gathering and machine learning, and can produce relevant analytics to help refine your business processes.
With reams and data and the ability to make practical use out of it, you can begin to reduce waste and streamline your operations.
With fewer steps in the chain between suppliers, manufacturer and customer, the skilled staff in your business are no longer squeezed so hard and instead have the ability to do the most complex jobs to the best of their ability.
More free time means more opportunities to upskill (it is easy to forget that your current workforce should always be looking to improve and that new skills do not always have to be sourced from outside the business).
A better user-interface
If skilled labour is in short supply, you’ll want to pull out all the stops to make your business as attractive as possible to prospective staff.
Providing staff with a modern, user-friendly software interface is an area where your ERP platform can excel.
The newer generation of workers in particular are used to slick navigation and ease of use from anything from gaming and social media platforms to IT software in previous jobs.
An antiquated ERP system can be a major obstacle when trying to attract the best talent – rather than providing a recruitment headache, why not invest in a best-in-class ERP product that your staff actually look forward to using?
Looking to learn more about how the skilled labour shortage in manufacturing can be eased by ERP technology? Get in touch with a CBO consultant here and take a first step in implementing a new manufacturing solution.