Manufacturing in North America is undergoing a significant transformation. Much of it has been driven by greater exploration in oil and natural gas. Increased interest in these natural resources has a profound impact on the supply chain for many manufacturers and distribution centers. With a greater number of orders for components, materials and equipment, companies in this sector need to be equipped with streamlined supply chain systems to meet the demand.
According to energy and production news source Rigzone, manufacturing employment in major metropolitan regions in the U.S. has grown 1.7 percent year over year since 2011, citing a report released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The news site draws the connection to manufacturers specializing in fabrication metal and machinery, which are integral to the energy industry supply chain. Rigzone reported nearly 200,000 positions were filled in energy-related manufacturing markets between 2010 and 2012.
One of the regional winners in the energy-driven manufacturing boom is Texas. According to Rigzone, shale gas production is a valuable resource because of its versatility, including the production of plastics. Exploratory equipment has also made it easier for companies to extract natural gas liquids and other resources, driving down the cost.
Accordingly, data automation software will play a crucial role in managing the vast amount of data necessary to keep track of supplies and distribution routes. If a company is still utilizing a paper-based system to maintain visibility into its supply chain, it is likely making more errors than it recognizes. An RFgen white paper explained enterprises that incorporate automated processes - especially those optimized for mobile devices - can maintain more accurate records. Especially in the energy market, it's important to be aware of the quantity, location, demand and distribution channels available, which are all made visible using an automated data collection system.