As COVID-19 restrictions ease and manufacturing activity rebounds, significant challenges remain, including supply chain issues, labor shortages, and inflation.
Against this backdrop, manufacturers continue to switch gears as they determine how best to serve their customers in the years ahead.
To stay one step ahead of industry trends and keep pace with the competition, technology innovation has taken a front seat. But manufacturers must also remain agile and find ways to rapidly respond to customer demand.
Given this, here are seven key manufacturing trends to watch for.
1. Onshore instead of offshore
To minimize dependency on China and other trade routes impacted by disruption, manufacturers must accelerate their supply chain resilience strategy. A key trend in 2022 that they will have to tackle is reshoring facilities and increasing their reliance on countries with whom the U.S. has friendly trade agreements, such as Mexico and Canada.
2. Shifting from B2B to B2C
Driven by higher margins, MSRP pricing, brand control, and other factors, manufacturing companies have increasingly shifted their market focus from B2B to B2C. To facilitate this move, manufacturers must continually improve their operations to support e-commerce and a quality customer experience. Rapid fulfillment and delivery, secure payments, digital marketing, and online customer service will all be top priorities.
3. Additive manufacturing (3D printing)
Additive manufacturing (where materials are produced in layers using 3D printing) will transform manufacturing in the coming years. Benefits include greater freedom of design, higher-performing products, greater plant productivity, sustainable processes, and a faster time to market — all with little or no added cost.
Industries leading the way in additive manufacturing include aerospace and defense, hotly followed by automotive production.
4. Predictive maintenance
Predictive maintenance technology automates the process of predicting problems and flaws during the manufacturing process. The result is reduced downtime and greater cost efficiencies. Predictive maintenance will be pivotal in helping manufacturing industries meet skyrocketing customer demand and achieve digital transformation.
5. Increased automation
Automation is also vital in helping manufacturers compensate for a worker shortage and eliminate time-consuming and error-prone processes — from the plant floor to the back office. Technologies like AI, machine learning, and smart machines can improve decision making, quality, consistency, and uptime.
6. Securing talent for the new workplace
As manufacturers embrace more automation, employees must be upskilled to work within these tech-heavy environments. According to Deloitte, more than 80% of manufacturers believe that talent pools are critical to their competitiveness. In fact, 41% have formed relationships with technical education institutions to develop their employees of the future.
Finally, managing operations in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner is now a business imperative. As the cost of energy and materials rises, regulations tighten, and consumers and investors gravitate towards more sustainable brands and business practices, many in the industry are already developing economically and environmentally sustainable business practices. As more manufacturers connect the dots between sustainability and profits, expect this trend to continue.
As your business expands in 2022, what manufacturing permit requirements and licenses are needed?
As you embrace these manufacturing trends, make sure you understand business license and permit requirements for your business. Here are seven to consider:
- EIN and tax identification number: All businesses must obtain a federal tax identification number. A state tax ID is also required by your state of operation.
- General business license: You must obtain a basic license. This can be obtained from the city or county where your manufacturing business is located.
- Land use and zoning permits: These permits regulate land use for the plant, signage, or other erected structure and are issued by your city or county planning office.
- Sales tax license: Regulates the sale of goods manufactured by your company.
- Health department permits: If your company manufactures food or other regulated products, you must apply for a health department permit.
- Building permits: If you are building or remodeling a plant or other structure, a building permit is required.
- Federal permits: The federal government regulates certain manufacturing industries including tobacco and firearms, alcohol, and drugs. To determine which permit you need, contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
Managing business licenses is a crucial but tricky part of your business. Our range of business license solutions can help you stay compliant.