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Five Manufacturing Trends to Watch for in 2018

Posted 06/15/2018 by David Moorman, Vice President, Operations Excellence

The manufacturing industry continues to shift as managers look to explore new technologies and streamline operations. But, in addition to better software, it is imperative that they finetune their processes and manufacturing strategy.


Manufacturers who adopt the latest trends will create business value and position themselves as the leaders in the industry. Here are five trends worth incorporating into your business model.


1. Focus on the Fundamentals

The basics of quality and supply chain are just as relevant today as they have been in the past. The fundamentals are still applicable today, as manufacturers continue to operate with the same basic set of technologies like systems to manage order fulfillment and inbound and outbound logistics. And, while managers will need to in many ways redefine and reinvent their existing technologies to keep up with demand, it is critical that they do so with the fundamentals in mind.


2. Emphasize Operational Discipline

Running a plant takes a great deal of operational discipline as it requires strict adherence to processes. While the creativity of operators comes in to facilitate continuous process improvement, being able to remain disciplined is of paramount importance. The good news is that smart manufacturing continues at an aggressive pace, which will continue to ease the burden off of operators as new manufacturing concepts and technologies are introduced to plants.


3. Make Plant Life More Attractive

With the growing number of high-tech and trendy offices that provide cool workspaces, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find top talent that is willing to work in a plant. As a result, changing people’s incorrect perceptions of factory life from dirty and outdated to one where new, clean, and modern facilities enable workers to thrive is a necessity.


4. Safety First

People want to work in safe plants, and manufacturers would do well in paying attention, as a safer work environment increases employee satisfaction. Higher employee satisfaction results in better retention rates, which helps to reduce hiring costs. Additionally, improved facility safety bolsters labor productivity and reduces the risks and costs associated with employee injuries.


5. Create More Leadership Roles

As younger generations begin to enter the workforce, they will be concerned about the availability of career pathing and the opportunity to play an active role in company leadership. Therefore, manufacturers should act now to allow for more leadership positions in addition to other leadership programs like mentorship, skills enhancement, and volunteering.


Start putting these practices into place. By taking advantage of the emerging trends of today, you will create an overall better manufacturing strategy that keeps profitability up and prevents loss of interest from consumers and the workforce down.


Discover more about H.B. Fuller, and contact us today.

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