Why do we want Manufacturers to focus more on People?

Industry 4.0 or Industrial IOT, Robotics so on and so forth all comprise the fourth industrial revolution, which is transforming the Manufacturing Sector in many ways across the industries and geographies. This new revolution will not only change the way we make things, but it will also bring in a cultural shift in the working environment. It is imperative to change the perception of Manufacturers towards investing in people or digital transformation initiatives that are inclusive of People and not only machine to machine transformation.

The search for Manufacturing Professionals in India has been reduced to a point where there are vacancies available in the formal sector for just 1.5% of the total jobs available in the organized sector. This is contrary to the global market where there are more than 800 million vacant jobs available worldwide. It has a lot to do with the unorganized sector as well as the lack of acceptance towards change. In any ways this is far more than concerning.

Manufacturers have failed to recognize this change and expect that they can continue operations on the traditional model. The social outlook research on manufacturing outlook, comparing last two decades pre-pandemic (as on 2019) showcases that the average annual productivity across different income groups has either remained close to the same or has declined.

This is surely alarming if we extrapolate the data and look at post pandemic scenario where not only the industries and manufacturing came to the standstill, but health risk for the higher age group employees have also started contributing as one of the major concerns

Why we still have to be dependent on Humans?

In the context of incremental and aggressive technology adoption in the big to large manufacturing enterprises and to some extent in the mid to small segment companies still around 2/3rd of the manufacturing activities is still manual/human dependent, and that’s a high percentage. If we add a region/ geographical variable such as –

The current situation:

  • Regions like Europe has high percentages of old age working population in the manufacturing segment,
  • The Middle East is largely dependent on the expatriate workforce coming from various countries, varied educational and social backgrounds,
  • Indian subcontinent or Africa where skill gaps and workforce disparities are the higher and great impact of Socioeconomic barriers, and so on. The challenges across the globe are galore.

Impact on the industry:

  • Shortage of adequate skills with disparate skilled workforce supply against the demand clearly is one of the greatest challenges at present
  • Diminishing Pull Factor in the manufacturing jobs, resulting in below par skill being recruited at an entry as well as specialized shop floor jobs
  • Changing job perceptions of the young workforce
  • Higher employee Turnover / Churn across the shop floor job functions
  • Excessive time, resources and efforts being invested in maneuvering through workforce challenges by the manufacturers to meet rising demand

The new age owners & many progressive leaders of an established small and medium manufacturing companies with inherited the legacy through the contribution and years being into the business have been looking to adapt to the changing environment and thinking digital in the strategic approach even though this is a huge change in the cultural outset, but on the flip side, there are no adequate ways, tools and mechanisms which will bring in Enterprise Inclusivity in the Digital transformation encompassing workforce as a pivotal factor.

With the machine level automation and digitalization, improving the ways to getting jobs done on a shop floor faster and accurately which might be one of the prominent incentives, but lack of technology skillset and absence of workforce inclusion in such interventions typically fails to attain its full potential value for the manufacturer.

Building intelligence over the set process is another massive step that is happening with Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning techniques. Things that felt impossible to achieve are happening quickly and swiftly because of this. However, it is necessary to see whether there is a need to reduce manpower, or do we actually need more technologically skilled ones? And if we need more, then how can we get on with the job of creating a more techno-functional Skilled workforce.  

If all these are concentrated and emphasized properly the new age workforce will be able to boost growth and profitability multifold through the convergence of Skill and Technology. With the new wave of technology transformation, especially for the small and medium enterprises, It’s not easy to admit that your organization might need a cultural change but it’s important to think about your company’s success in terms of how are you integrating your talent and workforce strategy into your business transformation which is led by technology at present? The companies and leaders who would embrace this change will create a competitive advantage over those who operate as normal.

At Parentheses Systems, we have been constantly delving deep into this very same intersection of the workforce -business outcomes and technology interventions. We firmly believe and have been constantly proving that more than Artificial Intelligence it’s the Augmented Intelligence is that will generate enormous value from the manufacturing value chain.

Human Machine Convergence (HuMaC), our hard-tech Smart manufacturing platform by exactly attains that where we enable the "Data-Decision" cycle orchestration to Maximize Man-Machine Margins. We are changing the Smart Manufacturing ecosystem from a Technology-driven initiative to a behaviour lead transformation.