Statistics indicate that by 2025, 75% of the country’s workforce will be made up of millennials, replacing a generation of Baby Boomers who will be moving into retirement. For the manufacturing industry, this is something of a problem, as there simply aren’t enough young applicants to fill the places of their older counterparts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there were nearly 250,000 manufacturing job openings in the United States in February of 2014. However, the manufacturing industry is having trouble attracting millennials to their workforce.
This is partly because millennials have been taught throughout their lives to regard manufacturing jobs as second-rate compared to jobs that require a college degree. Another issue is that many manufacturers have no real system in place to attract talent to their companies. Lastly, many manufacturers have failed to innovate their companies through technology. Manufacturing needs to work to change this perception, and must use technological advancements to bring fresh talent the industry.
However, there are ways to use ERP to help solve these issues.
Millennials are drawn to technology, and are the generation most likely to have a smartphone with them at all times. Integrating a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy allows your workers to use their smartphones to clock in to work, file reports, make inventory adjustments, handle shipments, and more. Allowing workers the freedom to use their own devices is highly appealing to younger generations, and helps them become more productive, as well.
ERP also helps workers collaborate with one another. Millennials like to work as part of a team, not in a hierarchy. Giving millennials and baby boomers the opportunity to work together and cooperate can also mean improved relations between the two generations.
Although there will likely be a transition period, there is a future for the manufacturing industry- and it’s not as hopeless as we’ve been led to believe.