The skills gap continues to be an issue for manufacturing — Congress has even gotten in on the conversation. Increasingly, there’s concern that it isn’t only that the current workforce doesn’t have the needed technical skills, but that they’re not willing to learn them, either. As Manufacturing.net put it, “manufacturers are being held hostage by a Millennial generation that doesn’t find the industry appealing.”
One solution? Manufacturers are helping each other out by outsourcing parts of their production to other manufacturers. If your new product requires a process that’s outside your wheelhouse, you can outsource that piece of the project to a factory across town. Maybe in the future they’ll send part of their process to you.
Project management and logistics become more complex on projects that include a bit of outsourcing, but they can also provide new revenue streams and keep you from having to invest in additional machinery — as well as helping to ameliorate hiring issues. It can be much easier to hire a new project manager from the existing labor pool than to hire new engineers or machine operators.