As the United States emerges from its economic recession, the manufacturing industry has seen increased operational activity in recent months and years. A report on the state of U.S. manufacturing found that its economic activity is currently at its highest point in two years, reported Manufacturing Business Technology. The Manufacturing Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Report on Business attributed this period of growth to a recent surge in production orders and noted that industry activity should ramp up during the second half of the year.
According to the study, ISM's Production Index registered 65 percent in July, which marked an 11.6 percent increase over the previous month. In addition, the most recent figures stand as the highest reading the organization recorded since May 2004. Although the Inventories Index, at 47 percent, was down 3.5 percentage points from June, officials stated this indicated that orders were increasing and businesses were clearing out backlogs.
Production Demands Require Better Oversight
With manufacturing activity projected to increase in the coming months, business leaders need to be prepared to handle the additional strain placed on inventory and warehouse management efforts. Market conditions may be growing more promising, but clients are still as fickle as ever, and a missed or delayed delivery could increase customer churn. Manufacturing Business Technology contributor Tim Garcia noted that warehouse management is a crucial component in the manufacturing supply chain. With the nonstop activity and constant onslaught of orders to fill, it can be easy for personnel to make mistakes. The potential for these errors will increase as more orders are made and the number of daily shipments rises. That is why manufacturers need a comprehensive and reliable supply chain management solution in place to help streamline operations as much as possible.
One of the key features in a robust warehouse management solution is an inventory control application. Garcia stated businesses that lack these resources are prone to inventory count problems, as they have trouble maintaining oversight across that phase of operations. Without the proper monitoring tools provided by an automated system, manufacturers may not be able to keep accurate inventory stock records, leading to potential shortages and an inability to fill orders and meet delivery time tables. They may also face issues regarding the location of inventory stocks, as warehouse managers struggle to find certain items in a timely manner. This can lead to extensive delays further down the supply chain and affect the ability of the organization to deliver its wares as agreed upon in its service-level agreements.