What Challenges Await New Zealand’s Manufacturers?
The Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) urged manufacturing companies in New Zealand to invest more in new technologies to maintain its growth streak and prepare itself for challenges in the future.
Some of these investments include Industry 4.0, which involves automation, cloud computing and the Internet of Things among other modern technologies, according to EMA CEO Kim Campbell.
Many subcontractors in the country have decided to keep up with the changing landscape of industry practices. Shot peening, for instance, has become more efficient after using technology to determine the right technique for a certain manufacturing process.
Manufacturers should then think of how they take advantage of this development to improve productivity and quality of their products. Campbell said that the industry also faces a greater need to hire more skilled workers, despite salaries being 15 per cent higher than the nationwide average. Artificial intelligence could be the solution to this problem, as it would reduce the need for manpower and cut costs at the same time.
If the industry fails to increase its investments in new technology, the pace of growth would be at risk. According to the Business NZ-BNZ’s performance of manufacturing index, the sector reached a score of 52.2 in March compared to 53.3 in February.
While this seemed to be lower, a reading above 50 indicates growth within the industry and a score below it means a contraction. In the next three months, many manufacturing companies remain positive about growth prospects that would mean more business for suppliers and service providers. Their outlook remains bright despite production, employment and new orders posting declines for March.
Investments in digital technology remain crucial since the manufacturing industry can no longer avoid the inevitable; the emergence of a new industrial revolution. What is your strategy to keep your business afloat in the coming years?