Covid-19 is a global crisis that everyone is trying to deal with at their best potential, including the manufacturing industry. Since the timeline for the pandemic is unknown, it is time that the industries take charge of their manufacturing with new implementations. The government is also taking extreme measures to enforce social distancing. With millions of people stuck under complete or partial lockdown, the pandemic has forced society to change the ways of working, socializing, manufacture, sell, and consume products. While this is the time for us to stay calm and wait for the pandemic to pass away, it is also a time for ample opportunities for growth.
Covid-19 has already provided growth to a number of consumer trends like online learning, streaming services, video communication, and most important of all, work from home. While this is temporary, if the critical mass of consumers gets comfortable with these behaviours, it is more likely that the same will continue for years to come.
The short term effects on manufacturers
Manufacturing industry was not ready for the pandemic, and it hit the manufacturers when their guards were down. Today the demand, supply, and workforce are affected at the same time. Some companies have closed due to their struggle to meet the demands driven by panic buying. Others are facing dramatic drops in demand and have extreme pressure to cut operational costs. The major manufacturers are facing trouble with their supply chains of raw materials and product parts.
Another problem that the manufacturing industry is facing is the unavailability of enough employees. 40-50% of their workforce is unavailable to perform their functions on the site. Due to the lack of digital tools in many factories, it is difficult for them to continue their manufacturing with fewer members.
Long-term effects on manufacturers
Due to the pandemic, the companies are looking for a short-term situation. But it is also important that they are prepared for long-term plans which might become permanent for the industries. Many manufactures have already implemented many trends.
Automated domestic manufacturing
Domestic manufacturing can be a part of the plan that will help build strategic resilience in the current crisis. The companies which rely on off-shore supplies may face trouble in receiving their batches in the coming years. Due to this reason, the government is encouraging people to get back to domestic manufacturing which will help them become self-reliant.
Digitization as a competitive advantage
The AI and IoT technologies have advanced in the past decade, which has opened new opportunities in every field, including manufacturing. They show tremendous efficiency in predictability, flexibility, capacity and availability. According to the report, the AI and IoT embedded factories are already generating 7% more revenue due to quick manufacturing. Digitizing the factories is the future that we are looking at right now.