Now that 2022 has arrived, many of us are looking ahead to what the new year might bring. Among the expected arrivals are several trends with the potential to affect manufacturers.
In the sections below, we round up the top eight forecasts for the next 11 months:
1. The Labor Shortage Will Persist
The “Great Resignation” continued through the end of 2021, with workers quitting their jobs in record numbers and squeezing an already tight labor market. Moving deeper in 2022, we can expect to keep seeing a skilled worker shortage across sectors.
2. We Will See More Supply Chain Challenges
The supply chain bottlenecks that manufacturers and others experienced in 2021 are likely to persist, at least through mid-summer, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, workforce shortfall and increased materials costs.
3. Manufacturers Will Need to Balance People and Technology
New and emerging technologies have the potential to increase manufacturer efficiency, innovation, resilience and more. While these tools are exciting, the health and safety of the workforce remains a persistent challenge amid the pandemic.
4. Manufacturers Must Be Cyber-Prepared
Owing to the use of information technology and operational technology, manufacturers are at greater risk for cyberattacks—and these attacks are likely to rise in number this year.
5. Digital Transformation Will Be Required
Manufacturing 4.0 is underway, and it will only gain momentum in 2022. No longer is being digitally savvy an option; now, for those manufacturers wishing to remain competitive, it is a requirement.
6. Improving Your Company Culture Will Pay Dividends
Enhancing your company culture can drive innovation and business growth in the new year. Inclusive workplaces with positive cultures can alleviate worker shortages, boost morale and resilience and increase financial performance.
7. It’s a Buyer’s (and a Seller’s) Market
Owing to pandemic-related workforce and supply chain issues, manufacturers looking to both buy and sell assets will continue to be in a good place this year.
8. Opportunity Will Abound
This year manufacturers will have the opportunity to redefine the disruptions and obstacles that took our lives by storm in 2020 and 2021. Recent, unprecedented innovations and improvements, born out of necessity, can be used to enhance manufacturers’ businesses—and the industry as a whole.
For resources, tips and further reading, download the full NAM Operational Solutions briefer, “Top 8 Manufacturing Trends for 2022.”