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MAGNET Predicts 2023 Manufacturing Trends

MAGNET predicts 2023 manufacturing trends

MAGNET predicts 2023 manufacturing trends

CLEVELAND — Jack Schron is running the family business. Experts predict four major trends in manufacturing this year: reshoring, recession, technology and flexibility. MAGNET CEO Ethan Karp said consumer demand being sky high coupled with supply chain issues, price hikes on materials, and a lack of workers are challenges that will likely continue this year. Karp said a strong focus on culture and investments in technology is important to retain and attract talent. “These tools are being made right here in Cleveland, Ohio,” he said. “We make the most sophisticated electric screwdriver in the world.” He’s been the president of Jergens, Inc. in Cleveland for more than 30 years. He took over the company his dad and grandfather founded in 1942. “We make stuff to hold stuff and every single industry has to hold position, a part, whether you’re making something for an automobile, whether you’re making something for a defense application, whether you’re making a hospital bed,” Schron said. Schron knows the manufacturing industry inside out and said his local team of about 220 Cleveland-area employees are prepared for the trends expected this year. Those trends include reshoring, recession, technology and flexibility, according to MAGNET. MAGNET is a nonprofit consulting group that aims to help northeast Ohio manufacturers grow. “A lot of people love to use their hands and their brains to make a living,” Schron said. Jergens, like most other manufacturers, continues to deal with pandemic-induced supply chain issues. “Some of the steal would come in late,” he said. “We couldn’t get suppliers to do hardening and heat treating of the material. We could not get some of the consumable products that get consumed in the manufacturing process. So, the whole supply chain was where the breakdown was. It rippled, and it’s still in play right now.” Reshoring is something top of mind for Schron and is a lesson learned from supply chain disruption. Reshoring is bringing overseas operations back to the United States, and that’s expected to ramp up. Schron said Intel coming to Ohio is a great example, and manufacturers like his will help build parts for the infrastructure below the plant. “Chip manufacturing, all of sudden, because of this reshoring, there’s a demand for the stuff we make,” he said. “We’ve gone from having some interest in the market to, all of a sudden, having some of our top customers going into Arizona, Texas, California, and now soon to be Columbus, Ohio.” As far as the potential recession goes, Ethan Karp, president and CEO of MAGNET, said a slight dip in the economy may not be such a bad thing for manufacturers. “Recession, if it happens, is actually a silver lining a little bit for our manufacturers,” Karp said. “A light recession. Not a deep recession. A light recession gives them time to make the changes in their plant that maybe they haven’t been looking at, to do the innovative things in their new products that maybe they haven’t spent the time on, to reorganize things and do that reshoring that, you know, build out their plant. So, they can make it inside rather than having to buy it from China or elsewhere.” Personally, a recession isn’t a big concern for Schron. “We’re not going to participate in a recession,” he said. “We’ve already decided as a team. We’re going to do everything we can to make products. We’re pretty confident. You don’t want to be cocky, but we also believe that there’s going to be a demand for manufacturing products. We’re seeing a spike up in everything we’re doing.” Staying up to date with the latest technology has always been key, but it’s especially vital in today’s world to give companies a leg up. Schron said it increases efficiency, accuracy and profit. “Are robots taking jobs away? And the answer is no, they’re not because it’s actually making more of the work to go into the robot so it can focus on what it does well, while the individuals can focus on what they do well,” Schron said. “So, without this, in combination with the individual worker, we would not be able to multiply the growth of our sales.” Offering flexibility helps keep people coming back to work, which can be difficult in the current competitive job market. Building personal connections with employees is important to Schron. If you ask him, the future is bright for manufacturing. “We’re pivoting,” he said. “We’re moving into different areas, and I think that’s what makes it […]

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Daisie Hobson

Daisie Hobson is a Director at the Reshoring Institute and an engineer with many years of experience in manufacturing and project management.

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