Keep It Local: The Beneficial Relationship Between Communities and Small Manufacturers

Gathering support for small manufacturing businesses can drive community growth. After more than a year of facing the challenges of the global pandemic, it has significantly affected countless economies and jobs. The manufacturing industry was among the many that suffered great losses at the height of the outbreak of the virus.

Despite all the unfortunate circumstances, there is still reason to be optimistic in the coming months. Coupled with the beginning of a vaccine rollout, various businesses in the manufacturing industry are making progressive changes. Not only will this pave the way towards recovery, but it will also help communities grow along the way.

Benefits of Localized Production

One of the most prominent trends that are set to reshape the manufacturing sector in the post-pandemic era is the drastic shift towards localized production. General supply chains have been under constant strain as the global pandemic persists. Moving production activity closer to the customer is the best course to take, especially for smaller manufacturing businesses.

Adopting this particular type of production has become urgent as manufacturers continue to suffer from limited movement due to government restrictions. Faster marketing time and familiarity with local government policies are just some of the primary drivers towards this shift.

With the massive surge in home improvement projects throughout the pandemic, companies specializing in stainless steel fabrication have the most to gain from localized production. Moreover, supporting small manufacturers can also prove to have substantial benefits for the local community.

Sustainable Manufacturing

Along with the sudden outbreak of the pandemic, the effects of the climate crisis also became more apparent in the previous year. Now, consumers will be looking for ways to substantially reduce their carbon footprint and improve the local environment. Likewise, the manufacturing industry is also aiming to lessen its environmental impact, being among the top contributors to pollution.

Growing support for local manufacturers will be the most effective avenue for consumers and manufacturers to achieve their goals. The benefit of focusing on localized production is that it shortens transportation routes, which leads to a massive decrease in carbon emissions.

Improve Local Economy

The threat of mass unemployment continues to loom, especially as companies try to cut down on their losses. This has left many professionals anxious for the future of their job security. As more customers promote their local manufacturers, the increasing demand will eventually lead to the creation of countless job opportunities for the community.

Investing in the workforce has become a priority for small manufacturers, particularly as automation continues to transform the industry. Not to mention the fact that the increase in job creation can also lead to better stimulation of the local economy, especially in the wake of the global pandemic.

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The Problems Within

While small manufacturers can significantly improve their local communities, there is still a lot that needs to be done within the sector as a whole. Before the outbreak of the global pandemic, the manufacturing industry was already in a crisis of its own. The labor market for manufacturing has slowly been dwindling in recent years due to the massive skills gap.

Due to this rampant issue, countless businesses have been spending big to attract and improve workers. Manufacturers were expected to spend $26.2 billion in the previous year to expand or create training programs in hopes of mitigating the shortage within the labor market. This trend has also been proven to improve employee productivity and morale by presenting better promotion opportunities.

The manufacturing industry relies heavily on workers with specialized skill sets. However, the drastic increase in the automation of the workplace is one of the biggest reasons why there is such a huge skills gap in workers. Constant hiring and upskilling have been the main avenues for manufacturers to close this substantial gap.

Bridging the Gap

In reality, the manufacturing industry needs more people. Ensuring that there is a pipeline of talent that they can rely on in the future is crucial for the survival of manufacturers both big and small. This is why at least 70% of manufacturers have chosen to invest heavily in their workforce moving forward.

Companies have been providing comprehensive training to existing workers and new hires to significantly boost employee retention. Making the industry more attractive has also been an increasing priority for some, which is why the adoption of digital technologies has become widespread as well. This has made targeted training possible and knowledge sharing more accessible.

Positive Outcomes

Looking back, the shift to more localized production serves as a win-win situation for both the community and small manufacturers alike. It can significantly make a greener, more sustainable local environment and stimulate the local economy at the same time.

On the other hand, the increase in demand for local manufacturers can lead to better job creation. Not only will this ease anxiety surrounding the threat of mass unemployment, but it also provides a solution to the dwindling labor market of the industry.

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