US manufacturers expected to fill 4m jobs by 2030

8 June 2022

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While MODEX 2022 is now well behind us and we look forward to the next MHI (Material Handling, Logistics and Supply Chain Association) US event, there were some important findings to take away from the tradeshow, where MHI launched its ‘Evolution to Revolution’ 2022 Annual Industry Report, in conjunction with Deloitte.

Confirming the Covid pandemic resulted in unprecedented supply chain disruption and shortages, John Paxton, CEO, MHI said now is the time to take the lessons learned and use them to invest in the right technology to mitigate future disruption and respond to future speed and transparency demands.

“Supply chain leaders have never been in a better position to drive impactful and lasting change for the industry. With the white-hot media spotlight chronicling the after-effects of the pandemic, the importance of supply chain is finally coming into focus in boardrooms across the world,” said Paxton.

The report claims current average lead times for production materials have climbed to 97 days, a 45% increase over the past year alone. and capital equipment lead times now average 173 days.

This increase in lead times is having a ripple effect across the entire value chain, leading to supply disruptions and rising costs for manufacturers and end-consumers alike – and triggering continued shortages and inflation.

“Supply chains are becoming more and more a technology-driven industry. While firms have not adopted some technologies as quickly as they thought they would back in 2014 or 2015, what we are seeing now is a big jump in these investments. Where we used to say evolve or die what we now say is transform or die,” said Thomas Boykin, consulting LLP, Deloitte.

Workforce challenges continue to be a linchpin for supply chains and the perception of working in this industry is a barrier for solving the talent shortage.

US manufacturers are expected to need 4 million jobs filled by 2030, so leaders can create pathways to those jobs by reskilling the existing workforce and engaging with schools and communities to make the case for working in supply chain.

Making a business case for adoption of technologies to optimize supply chains is also becoming a crucial turning point between operational success and failure.

A business case, tied with a strong strategic vision, creates structure and support for the decision process and ensures that decisions are made from benchmark data as opposed to the latest trend.

With supply chain metrics continuing to trend in the wrong direction – and continued disruptions, shortages, and price inflation looming for the foreseeable future MHI says it is more critical than ever for companies to expand investment in digital technologies that can revolutionize their supply chain operations. Now that global supply issues are top-of-mind for businesses and consumers alike, it’s time for supply chains to take action – embracing digital technologies and turning their long-expected potential benefits into reality.

Jennifer Eagle, editor

Jennifer Eagle