The New York Times headline printed in October last year was ‘How the World Ran Out of Everything’. This drives home just how challenging recent times have been for Global manufacturing. However, sales, confidence and the economy are showing signs of recovery as we enter 2022. Our predictions for the coming year include;
Manufacturing during the new normal
Covid seems to be here to stay, we have now been coexisting with it in one form or another for almost two years. During that time the manufacturing industry has endured and overcome extensive disruption. Managing the workforce has been especially challenging as manufacturers have had to reconfigure working practices to provide a Covid safe working environment. Manufacturing is constantly evolving and adapting to the new normal, as an industry it is in fact a step ahead as the vast percentage of manufacturers continued to work and evolve throughout the lockdowns. What were initially imagined as short-term solutions are quickly becoming long-term resolutions, setting out new working standards.
The evolution of the working week
Throughout the Covid-19 lockdowns manufacturers had to rapidly deliver remote working solutions. Although many workers have long since returned to on-site working, the flexibility – and productivity – gains offered by remote working look set to become a normal part of life moving forward.
In terms of technology, this means growth in cloud services where emails and servers can be accessed anytime, from anywhere.
Ongoing supply chain disruption
The disruptions and product shortages manufacturers faced throughout 2021 highlight more starkly than ever the need for an adaptive and resilient supply chain. We predict a push to de-risk supply chains by moving them closer to home. This is likely to be achieved by a resurgence of reshoring and nearshoring as a way to prioritise resilience and stock availability, especially for critical industries such as healthcare.
The importance of sustainability
Sustainability has become a lynchpin of the pandemic, a survey from the Manufacturers Leadership Council found that 87% of respondents thought manufacturing had a special responsibility to society to change and 72% felt sustainability was essential or extremely important for future growth.
The year ahead is bound to be a challenging one as we navigate the ongoing shocks of both Covid and Brexit, however we believe that it is a year of opportunity. We are optimistic and positive as we enter 2022 and we look forward to a year full of good prospects, new exciting products and good relationships with clients and suppliers.