Machine and Process Management

How to keep facilities running at top of their game with baby boomers retiring

The 2009 recession has driven large facilities, factories and businesses in general to run leaner and meaner than ever before. In turn, cutting costs to remain competitive in the face of reduced demand for products and global efficiency pressures means most operations have far less maintenance and engineering staff today than at any point in their history.

On top of it all, there are demographic challenges unfolding as well. So called ‘Baby Boomers’ or that 76M strong cohort of Americans born from 1946 to 1964 are in the process of reaching the 55+ retirement eligible age.

Baby Boomers chart

The graph above shows how the work force has evolved over four decades (from 1967 to 2007). During the most recent decade, from 1997 to 2007, workers in the 55 and over demographic have increased by 60%.  Data from the same reports says that a staggering 49.3% of all manufacturing workers belong to the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation.

These experienced workers are currently in the process of retiring from the workforce to enjoy their golden years. Statistically almost 50% will reach or pass the retirement eligible age by 2019. To quantify this according to PEW research 10,000 Baby Boomers will retire EVERY DAY until 2030. That’s a lot, if you ask me!

It is fair to say industries will face a dramatic change in the make-up of their workforces. This means less experienced workers are available to perform proactive efficiency improvement work.  Even with this transition, the focus must always be on keeping operations running. Efficiency pressures are keener than ever before. How do companies continue to make it over the ever rising bar of operational efficiency while they adjust to these changes in their workforce?

Companies are starting to turn towards electrical manufacturers and tap into their in- house expertise. The right manufacturers’ experts can ensure key issues are identified, prioritized and fixed with surgical precision. Some of these companies have extensive experience with industrial productivity improvement projects. They’ve ‘been there and done that’.
Industrial companies have the advantage to ‘outsource’ improvement projects tapping into this bank of experience and continuing to operate at world class levels of manufacturing and base cost productivity.

With the global economy forcing businesses to operate at higher levels of efficiency than ever before, manufacturing companies need to discover ways to meet the challenge of today’s highly competitive global manufacturing environment with leaner and younger workforces.

Can you think of where and how we can get started together today?

 


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