Millennials in Manufacturing?

cbeecher People in Manufacturing

Millennials have been given a bad press, labeled as being lazy, impatient, wanting everything without working for it, have unrealistic career goals, and have been inundated with technology and connectivity 24/7 for the majority of their lives.

Is this really all that bad?  If you ask my generation they’d say yes, but if you ask my kids, who are millennials, that’d vehemently disagree.

Why?  Because they say they can do things quicker, with less effort, and have creative minds that easily can link multiple items together into a new and improved item and or way of doing things.

Ok, so they now have my attention.

It’s true, Millennials have grown up with technology in a way that no other generation before them.  This makes them uniquely qualified to excel in industries that are heavily dependent on technology and digitization, manufacturing being one of them.

Now manufacturing may not be at the top of most millennials list when considering careers, but it should be.  Whether they join an existing operation or start their own, millennials are poised to use their tech skills to improve the manufacturing industry in a big way.

As Employees

Manufacturing companies need to embrace automation and software solutions or get left in the dust in the digital transformation that’s hitting the industry. Technology is rapidly changing how shop floors/manufacturing environments are set up and the skills that manufacturing employees need.   The new technology is ripe for millennials since the new changes require employees to be comfortable with technology and automation which millennials are.   They possess a unique understanding of technology and the ability to keep up with its constant changes, millennials are an asset to an industry that needs revitalization in a big way.  The only question I see is, do the millennials see the opportunity before them?

Manufacturing is not on the radar for most millennials that are job hunting.  There needs to be a big shift in the manufacturing industry to attract millennials.  Start with rebranding from mind-numbing repetitive assembly line work to innovative, cutting-edge technology, with huge growth potential.  That would get my attention if I were a millennial.  Getting millennials in the door, empowered to make a difference, and able to succeed will drive not only improved technology in manufacturing but also will improve processes, revitalize the workforce, and drive additional results directly to the bottom line.  A win, win for everyone!

As Entrepreneurs

Because they’re used to a much higher level of interconnectedness than their predecessors, millennials bring a unique outlook to business opportunities and how to pursue them. For most established businesses, digitization is a matter of changing an existing process. It means a company must take a paper-based process and make it a digital one. For millennial entrepreneurs, no such adaptation is necessary. Every process they put in place from the beginning will be digital and automated, if possible. And with a greater understanding of technology, millennials can seize business opportunities with relatively few resources at their disposal.  Think of this way: go to the phone book or encyclopedia Britannica (the old way), or ask Google, (the millennials way)!

Millennials who may be considering starting a company have a competitive advantage that comes with technology because they can use digital production records, equipment calibration software and equipment maintenance software to get their products onto shelves sooner and when using automated software solutions, more can be done with less so they need to recognize the payoff that comes with investing in these solutions.

Wrapping Up

By using their knowledge of technology, the Internet of Things (IoT), and their skills to multitask, millennials are positioned to bring manufacturing into the technology age, increase efficiency and improve existing processes.

Millennials are the change for the manufacturing industry, an industry starving to be revitalized!