Most experts agree that many companies will face labor and skills shortages over the next few years. This is especially true for the manufacturing sector. Cue this sobering fact – there will be an estimated 2.1 million job vacancies left unfilled in US manufacturing by 2030 according to a recent Deloitte study. As you can imagine, the economic impact will be significant, both nationally and globally. And that’s not to mention the adverse effect on individual businesses
Can technology help? What are some of the ways in which an eQMS can beat labor shortages and quality skills gaps? That’s what this article is all about.
Challenges created by the labor shortage
As the manufacturing industry and the world recovers from the global pandemic, if you want to maintain a competitive edge one of your main focuses should be to find and hire skilled and qualified people.
At the same time, as the manufacturing labor shortage is becoming more pronounced, new technology is emerging at an ever-quickening pace. The rate of technological change shows no sign of slowing down, yet factories struggle to find the personnel necessary to take advantage of it. This presents a major challenge for manufacturers, as they are unable to capitalize on the incredible potential productivity gains and efficiency savings that emerging technologies offer.
Additionally, manufacturers need to retain existing staff by making their lives easier and less stressful. Automation is a good way to achieve this, and a smart quality management system (eQMS) can help.
How does an eQMS help with labor shortages?
Reduced Human Error
When people are tasked with managing complex processes and need to deal with fragmented information, it’s only natural that mistakes will happen.
An eQMS reduces human error by automating routine tasks. This not only saves time, but also ensures accuracy since there are fewer opportunities for error. Fewer errors mean fewer staff-hours needed to rectify them.
A good example of implementing an eQMS helping to reduce data errors is Berry Global, a Fortune 500 global manufacturer specializing in plastics, packaging, and non-woven materials. Berry Global implemented the AlisQI quality management system and immediately saved 10 hours per week in data cleansing, as well as improving quality across the company.
Automation also frees up employees to focus on higher value tasks and improvement.
An eQMS enables businesses to manage their resources more efficiently so they can maximize productivity without having to increase their labor force.
For example, an eQMS can help to reduce production times by streamlining processes and ensuring that any necessary documents are readily available at any given time. It eliminates variation by means of proactive alarms and action-driven workflows. And by making data and trends accessible and traceable, teams can easily identify areas for improvement.
Managing the skills gap
For manufacturers with dozens, or even hundreds, of products and different processes, it can be a daunting task to keep everything organized. The labor shortage adds to this, as it’s getting more and more difficult to find people with the right skills for the job and to keep everything in check.
Manufacturing companies end up with multiple Excel documents and paper-based systems, scattered data, and too much manual work on their hands. A serious shortage of skills in quality management compounds the problem.
Implementing an eQMS helps to solve these problems. An eQMS compiles all the data in one place, enables automatic updates, and makes it easy to access the relevant onboarding documentation and resources. In other words, an eQMS removes the reliance on an expert by making instructions, resources, and procedures accessible to everyone.
For instance, when Berry Global implemented AlisQI, their quality systems were inefficient due to an overreliance on quality experts within the company. A spokesperson for Berry Global said:
“We couldn’t get downloads from the AS/400 ourselves. Only one or two people were able to do that, with a lot of effort, but they were not always available.”
Since implementing AlisQI eQMS, anybody in the company can access procedural documents and resources immediately, without any hassle, thus offsetting the quality management skills gap.
Are there extra advantages when choosing a no-code eQMS? The short answer is yes. A no-code eQMS doesn’t require any specialist IT skills to set up, configure, or use. This opens the door for self-service – meaning that businesses don’t need to wait for the IT department or hire outside contractors to implement quality software. They can start boosting their quality operation from day one.
In fact, it’s even better if the quality team gets involved with this from the very beginning since they know the most about the quality processes and what they need from an eQMS.
A no-code eQMS such as AlisQI empowers quality teams to take control, no longer relying on outside vendors or overburdened IT departments. This is a game changer for quality leaders as it acts as a powerful strategic differentiator and provides a valuable competitive edge.
Labor costs make up a large portion of any company’s budget, so reducing those costs is critical in order to stay competitive in today’s market.
An eQMS helps to reduce labor costs through increased automation and productivity. It also makes it easier for managers to track employee performance and productivity levels. For example, businesses that use the AlisQI eQMS can access in-depth data analysis, insights, and reports to determine whether additional staff members are needed or whether existing staff need further training to improve their skills and performance.
Additionally, an eQMS makes it easier for businesses to comply with relevant regulations, which helps them to avoid costly fines and penalties associated with non-compliance issues.
Leveraging an eQMS is a cost-effective way for manufacturers that are facing labor shortages to weather the storm. A good eQMS can help to:
- reduce human error,
- maximize productivity,
- manage the skills gap
- enable quality teams to do more through the user-friendliness of no-code
- and reduce costs.
An eQMS is especially well equipped to cut down on compliance issues and unnecessary personnel expenses.
Manufacturing businesses that implement an eQMS are more likely to remain competitive during challenging times.
To find out how AlisQI can help you to reduce the impact of labor shortages, contact us today.