We sat down with Kevin Blakey, ePS' Director of Product Management to talk all things technology and flexible packaging. Kevin has an intimate thirty year history with the industry and was involved...
Tackling the challenges of labor shortage in corrugated manufacturing
The corrugated manufacturing industry has been hit hard by labor shortages in recent years.
Despite the high demand for corrugated packaging products, many companies are struggling to find enough skilled workers to keep up with production.
This has led to increased costs, longer lead times, and lower overall productivity for many businesses in the industry.
- Key factors driving labor shortage in corrugated manufacturing
- Addressing the labor shortage
- The corrugated software solution
- Strategies beyond software
Key factors driving labor shortage in corrugated manufacturing
There are a few key factors driving the labor shortage in corrugated manufacturing. One major issue is the ageing workforce. Many experienced workers are reaching retirement age, and there simply aren't enough younger workers to replace them. This is especially true in rural areas, where corrugated manufacturing facilities are often located.
Another factor contributing to the labor shortage is competition from other industries. Many young workers today are choosing to pursue careers in technology, healthcare, and other fields that offer higher salaries and more attractive benefits packages than corrugated manufacturing. This has made it difficult for companies in the industry to attract and retain top talent.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a significant impact on the labor market, with many workers choosing to leave their jobs due to safety concerns, family obligations, or other reasons. This has only worsened the labor shortage in corrugated manufacturing, making it even harder for companies to find the workers they need to keep up with demand.
Addressing the labor shortage
So what can companies in the corrugated manufacturing industry do to address this labor shortage?
One option is to invest in automation and other technologies that can help streamline production processes and reduce the need for manual labor. This can help make the industry more attractive to younger workers who are looking for jobs that require more advanced skills.
The corrugated software solution
Software can help address the challenge of labor shortage in corrugated manufacturing in several ways, including:
- Automating repetitive tasks:
One of the main reasons for labor shortages in corrugated manufacturing is the difficulty in finding skilled workers to perform repetitive tasks. Software can help by automating these tasks, such as cutting, folding, and gluing, reducing the need for human labor.
- Optimizing production processes:
Software can be used to optimize production processes, reducing waste, and increasing efficiency. By streamlining production, manufacturers can reduce the need for additional labor, and maximize the output from existing workers.
- Providing real-time data and insights:
Software can provide real-time data and insights into production processes, allowing manufacturers to identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks quickly. With this information, they can make necessary adjustments to production processes, reducing the need for additional labor.
- Offering remote monitoring and management:
With the use of software, manufacturers can remotely monitor and manage their production processes, reducing the need for workers to be physically present on the production floor. This can be particularly useful during times of labor shortages or when social distancing measures are in place.
- Providing training and support:
Software can also provide training and support for workers, reducing the need for skilled labor. With software-based training, workers can quickly learn new skills and adapt to changing production processes, reducing the need for additional labor.
Overall, software can be a valuable tool in addressing the labor shortage in corrugated manufacturing by automating tasks, optimizing production processes, providing real-time data and insights, offering remote monitoring and management, and providing training and support for workers.
Strategies beyond software
Another strategy is to offer more competitive salaries and benefits packages to attract and retain skilled workers. This may require companies to adjust their pricing strategies to ensure that they can cover the increased labor costs, but it can also help them stay competitive in the long run.
Finally, companies can also partner with local schools and training programs to develop the next generation of skilled workers. By providing training and job opportunities to young people in their communities, companies in the corrugated manufacturing industry can help ensure that they have the skilled workforce they need to thrive in the years ahead.
In conclusion, the labor shortage in corrugated manufacturing is a complex problem that requires a multifaceted solution. By investing in technology, offering competitive salaries and benefits, and partnering with local schools and training programs, companies in the industry can help address this challenge and secure a brighter future for themselves and their employees.