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2024 Manufacturing Predictions: It’s About Community, People!

Different hands reaching for a gear. Community!

Manufacturing is not just an industry. It’s a community, and one that will continue to come closer together  in 2024, predicts Steph Hartsog, Augury’s Senior Director of Global Community & Customer Marketing. “We have an opportunity to really help each other.”

A lot happened in 2023 with Augury’s own community of leading manufacturers. But across the industry, we are witnessing trends that indicate manufacturing has to increase its collaboration efforts. While we are in fact in the middle of a manufacturing boom, we are also being held back by challenges around the current ‘Grey Wave’ of retirement and continued snags in the supply chain

Happily, we have galvanizing organizations such as CESMII, the Smart Manufacturing Institute. Funded by the U.S. government, this non-profit was established as the unifying force to promote smart manufacturing. By sparking efforts around education, networking and initiating research projects, they hope to inspire manufacturers of all stripes to begin on their journey of digital transformation. 

So it seems like perfect timing to now look forward and share how we think 2024 will play out for the greater manufacturing community. Remember: we’re in this together. 

1. The use of cutting-edge technology will be recognized as  imperative in attracting and retaining talent

We frequently hear manufacturing leaders say it’s hard to attract new talent – which is critical for today’s organizations if they are going to continue addressing the needs of the market. But here’s a fact: by highlighting how you are using cutting-edge technology, you will actually attract the next generation of team members and leaders

Today’s digital natives are looking to make an impact via their jobs. So inspire them by giving them the digital tools they need to maximize their impact!

2. The role of education continues to expand

And in the name of attracting and retaining this talent, an increasingly important role will be played by education, such as through online courses, live training, user group meetings, and knowledge repositories.

In addition, by using new technology to address business challenges, your current employees will also have the opportunity to learn new skills and thereby change their day-to-day – improving safety, increasing efficiency, creating more work-life balance, and opening the door to promotions.

While Augury has its own in-house Academy, the previously mentioned CESMII is an invaluable education resource for not only reskilling but also supporting those in leadership roles. 

3. The need to support one another as a manufacturing community is a must-do 

We’re all part of communities – whether it’s the neighborhoods in which you live, the schools your children attend, or the local place of faith you may visit. Uniquely, today’s manufacturers also have an opportunity to help one another. However, we often hear the objection: “I can’t talk to people outside my company because I might give away our secret sauce.” But the fact is we can learn a lot from one another without having to share our trade secrets. Think:

  • How you successfully rolled-out a new piece of technology
  • How you streamlined your standup meetings
  • Tips on how to celebrate a team achieving their quarterly KPIs

Just look at Augury’s The Endpoint to see firsthand how manufacturers are helping one another succeed. In fact, we just participated in a roundtable with manufacturing leader Terry LeDoux that stressed the importance – and power – of building mutual trust across the ecosystem

4. The importance of celebrating team wins has never been more clear 

Change is everywhere. We keep trying new ways to not only meet market needs but to also face down that ever-present requirement to cut costs. The pressure can build – especially if team members are also navigating personal challenges. Life can turn into a grind – and fast. So, as leaders, you need to cut through the chaos and really take time to celebrate team successes. It helps everyone stay focused on the wins rather than getting mired in the things that aren’t going right. And you can do this in many ways:

  • Call out team accomplishments 
  • Give a spot bonus
  • Write a note to a high-performing team-member’s manager 
  • Make a recommendation on LinkedIn
  • Highlight the success on a team or company call 
  • And the list goes on… 

Many people in your workforce are motivated by recognition. So step up and be that person driving this important part of your culture.

5. The value of active participation in change management will be increasingly embraced

After helping hundreds of factory sites rollout new technology, Augury has seen and learned a few things. One of the steps we often see executive leaders skip is change management. Our newly-launched Fast Track Methodology not only contains the playbook for launching enterprise rollouts, it also prescribes how executive leaders need to play an active role in change. Remember, no outcome is possible without the support of your team. If you don’t help them manage the change, you’ll never see the payoff you want.

So let’s do this, people! Here’s to making 2024 a great year for both manufacturing and the customers we serve. 


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