Top manufacturing trends to keep your eye on in 2022

By Varushka Padayachi
Digital Manager
2020 and 2021 brought new challenges to the manufacturing industry, namely supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic and resultant lockdowns. As a direct result there has been increased adoption of digital technologies to offset this taking place again. This is among the top trends expected to have an impact on the manufacturing industry in 2022.  

Digital transformation is a priority 

Tools and technology that enable agility will be critical. Many companies are shifting spending towards digital solutions that support increased agility and better risk management, making them more resilient, especially in volatile times.  

Tools that capitalise on the use of data from frontline workers will be key, and most industry professionals recognise the need for support to do this, acknowledging where they’re falling short. More organisations are advancing progress and seeing positive outcomes due to more connected, reliable, efficient, and predictive processes at the plant. Manufacturers are likely to be proactive and address future issues by collecting data for greater transparency and insight into operations. 

In 2022 digital is no longer optional. Those in the midst of, or completing digital transformation, will have the competitive advantage over those still on paper. Data captured digitally provides leading indicators that support real-time visibility for decision making, workforce engagement and continuous improvement. 

One of the biggest challenges for manufacturers today is attracting and retaining new talent, especially among Millennials and Gen-Z’

Addressing generational skills gap 

The manufacturing industry is facing a critical skills gap in the wake of the pandemic. One of the biggest challenges for manufacturers today is attracting and retaining new talent, especially among Millennials and Gen-Z. Moving forward, the industry must make a concerted effort to address this skills gap and labour shortage, including using Industry 4.0 technology to do so. The “Great Resignation,” or the widespread trend of workers leaving their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, is continuing to make its impact on the industry. 

According to recent research by Jobvite, one factor behind the Great Resignation is that workers, now more than ever, want their voices heard. Organisations that implement applications that enable worker productivity and engage workers in safety and quality will emerge as leading employers and retain and recruit the best talent.  

Factory worker stock image. Photo:Photo by Spencer Davis on Unsplash

Mobile solutions  

More than 96% of younger workers already have smartphones, so mobile Connected Worker applications are a seamless way to engage this generation. Since younger workers are familiar with mobile devices and expect to use digital technologies in the workplace, adopting these solutions is less likely to cause friction. In addition, the right digital tools lead to increased engagement, and the ability to capture critical data and best practices from the most knowledgeable workers. By allowing companies to unlock data and find out what’s happening on the factory floor in real-time, leaders can identify patterns and trends and act quickly on the information. 

In a recent global survey, almost half of workers said they wish they had access to better technological solutions. According to IDC, by 2022, 70% of all organisations will have accelerated the use of digital technologies, and mobile Connected Worker applications will transform existing business processes to drive worker productivity and business resiliency. Companies who leverage mobile Connected Worker applications will be more resilient in the face of future challenges and accelerate digital transformation by proactively addressing real-time findings in safety, quality, and operations for determining overall trends and evaluating process efficacy. 


Digital issue View Archive

Industrial Buyer January 2022

In the first edition of Industrial Buyer for 2022 we find out how digitalisation and automation is impacting the manufacturing industry. We also get trend savvy with important developments in the sector that you need to know about in 2022.

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