According the Group Outlook Survey and and an article in Plant Engineering mid size manufactures are seeing the following:
- 68% of respondents expect revenue to increase in 2013
- 87% of companies expect capital expenditures to grow or remain constant and 39% expect to spend more than 2012
- 43% plan to hire more employees in 2013 versus 24% in 2010 with 52% maintaining current employment levels this is up from the last few year
- 68% expect increased sales in 2013 over strong sales in 2012
- 61% are attributing this to new products for 2013
- 70% have increased material and services purchases from American suppliers with Mexico following second as an effect of near-shoring
Questions: Are they building reliability into the new assets? Are these new hires ready to operate and maintain equipment at a level that can facilitate the increased output that is required? With this growth in the market and the 401k investment value now returning to per-recession levels will we see baby-boomers retire in mass?
According to a 2011 ARC Advisory Group report:
- The average impact of unplanned downtime in process industries is $20 billion or 5% of production
- With every 10 workers retiring only 5 will take their place
Questions: Do we have the skills? Are we spending on training to create the skills to operate, maintain and troubleshoot automation and increasing equipment complexity?
According to Fractional Research Inc. a company that does distillation research for chemical and engineering companies:
- An estimated 10,000 workers a day are leaving the work force for the next 20 years
- That's 400,000 years of experience leaving each day
Questions: Are you collecting experience?
According to a 2012 report by the Construction Labor Market Analyzer (CLMA):
- Demand in the south eastern U.S. for skilled workers is expected to average 2.3 million during the 2012 to 2017 time period
- That is 3.4 million skilled crafts needed in North and South Carolina alone through January 2016
- Prior to 2008 it was estimated that 20 percent of current work force would retire. This was slowed by the recession but now it is happening during the recovery further hampering supply of skilled trades when we need them most.
Questions? What are you doing to retain and up-skill your trades? Will you have what you need to meet the sales growth and increased volume we mentioned above?
Chemical Processing's Annual Salary Survey of Engineers shared the following tidbits:
- The average raise is 4.27% which is up from 4.15% last year
- Bonuses also increased from $6,318 to $6,483 this year
- 39% mentioned lack of recognition as the main driver for job discontent.
- 68% mentioned challenge and stimulation of the job as one of their top satisfaction drivers
- 58% mentioned Salary and Benefits as one of their top satisfaction drivers
ChemicalProcessing.com recently ask their readers "How will the retirement of 'baby boomers' affect your site over the next 5 years?"
- 46% of respondents expect a significant impact and 37% expect to be effected somewhat.
With companies offering a 10% increase in compensation over the current level as a new hire, engineers are entertaining offers of employment elsewhere. Others are retiring. You could be loosing talent and experience.
What are you doing to retain your engineering talent? Are you providing recognition? Are you increasing wages to match the industry?
The "Perfect Storm?"
With the need for skilled trades and skilled engineers in manufacturing increasing due to demand driven by economic recovery and capital expansion battling with the departure of the "baby boomers" of both disciplines with the return of the value of the 401K retirement plans, we could be set for a "Perfect Storm." That storm is a skills shortage not a people shortage. To compound the situation many companies underspent on maintenance during the recession creating assets that are unreliable and running with the defects of not being properly cared for. Now we are asking those same assets to produce more and run harder and those induced defects are coming to light. Do you have the skills to fix them?
What are you doing to keep the skilled, collect their knowledge, and equip the future employees for your success?
Will the loss of skills and knowledge take with it your reliability and in turn your ability to meet market demand?