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2020 was a bizarre year. So far, 2021 hasn’t been any more ‘normal’, so we’re looking ahead to help the Aussie manufacturing industry prepare for next year.

While COVID’s economic impact is sure to have a long tail, the outlook is anything but bleak. In fact, opportunities abound for cabinetmakers and manufacturers. Thanks to Government investment, changing consumer demands, and the unceasing pace of technological development, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2022.

Top trends for Australian manufacturers

Reshoring and near-sourcing

At its peak in the mid-1970s, Australia’s manufacturing industry employed around 25% of the population. Today that number is closer to 7%.

But a global pandemic showed us why it’s essential to protect local industries. Several factors, including unstable global supply chains, production delays, and border closures, brought the focus closer to home when sourcing materials and labour.

And the Federal Government kicking in $1.3 billion to support the manufacturing sector won’t hurt either.

Employee wellbeing

Just like near-sourcing, COVID-19 put a spotlight on employee health and safety. But, reducing strain and avoiding injuries is just one part of the puzzle. Automation addresses those challenges in exciting ways, which we’ll talk about later.

But another area our industry is starting to get comfortable with is mental health. Global pandemics are stressful. So we’re pleased to see programs like the “Collaboration Delivers Wellbeing in Manufacturing Project” in Victoria supported by industry, researchers, state governments and unions.

From B2B to B2C

We touched on customisation in an earlier article. Bespoke manufacturing is evidence of a shift towards consumer-driven production, replacing the typical business-to-business (B2B) approach with business-to-consumer (B2C) operations.

B2C benefits manufacturers in several ways:

  • Sell direct-to-consumer at retail prices
  • Respond to consumer demand faster
  • Realise sales (and revenue) faster
  • Start better conversations with consumers
  • Keep control of your brand and company image

B2C isn’t just a sales technique. It’s a way of doing
business that connects manufacturers with customers for better results all around.

Using ERP to its full potential

In manufacturing, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software brings all your operations together into a single software platform. But now, even ERP is changing – or at least how manufacturers engage with ERP software.

Our customers are diving deeper into the features and data Jobman provides so they can make smarter, more strategic decisions. Rather than reacting, manufacturers are using ERP to forecast and plan for growth.

Whether you want to improve productivity, upsell existing customers, or cut waste in the production process, ERP software is the key to transforming your business.

Automation is everywhere

Automation doesn’t end with the production line. At every level of your business, automation plays a role in streamlining production and delivering higher productivity. And when productivity means profit, even seemingly small changes make a big difference.

Employees also benefit from automation. Tedious, labour-intensive, or potentially dangerous tasks are now the realm of robots, keeping workers safe and freeing up their time to add value where it counts.

Which brings us to the final trend…

Robots and retraining

Australian manufacturing supports 862,200 jobs. While some of those jobs can be done by robots, that doesn’t mean local people are losing their income.

Robotics in manufacturing is an opportunity for jobs, not a threat. For now at least, robots need human intelligence to instruct them. Employers who invest in retraining and upskilling operators to take over higher-order jobs will see productivity benefits, healthier and happier staff, and smoother production lines.

ERP brings it all together

Jobman is the centralised source of data, information and insight helping manufacturers make smarter decisions. Our manufacturing ERP supports better B2C relationships, enables automation across the production line, helps employees manage their workload, and gives management all the data to innovate in changing times.

Contact the team to see Jobman in action and find out more.

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