The U.S. manufacturing industry could be looking at a substantial production increase, as a recent report stated that the nation's exporting operations are expected to ramp up in the coming months. The Boston Consulting Group's study on the state of American exports found that the U.S. could bring in as much as $115 billion in annual exporting revenue by the end of the decade. According to researchers, this opportunity has come about due to American manufacturers' significantly lower production costs. Other prominent manufacturing industries in Western Europe and Japan trailed the U.S. in productivity and efficiency.
One of the primary areas in which the U.S. has outpaced some of its competitors is in reducing labor costs. According to the study, U.S. labor costs are anywhere from 15 to 35 percent lower than those of manufacturers in Western Europe and Japan. By reducing their personnel expenses, American manufacturing firms have been able to pass those savings along to clients, creating a substantial competitive advantage over foreign competitors.
However, simply shedding personnel could lead to productivity issues and shipment delays for manufacturers. When reducing labor costs, businesses need a solution that will allow them to maintain their quality of service and keep clients satisfied. A mobile data collection application could help enhance the productivity of floor employees and reduce operational costs. For instance, employees in a traditional supply chain environment may spend numerous hours manually conducting inventory counts. Not only is this time-consuming, but the results may be inaccurate as well. By deploying a mobile inventory management system, floor employees could quickly scan each pallet or container and receive a wealth of information regarding its contents, reducing the amount of time and personnel needed to complete the task.
In a recent Manufacturing Business Technology article, Apriso Senior Product Manager James Montgomery referred to manufacturing intelligence as being like the central nervous system of operations, capable of identifying pain points to notify central command of lingering issues. Data capture software allows managers to spot bottlenecks that could disrupt the supply chain all the way down the line. By addressing these issues early on, manufacturers can mitigate any resulting damage.