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The tech talent market finds itself at an intriguing crossroads.
On one hand, we are seeing an increasing lack of tech talent, particularly in the manufacturing industry: The manufacturing sector has lost about 1.4 million jobs since the onset of the pandemic, according to Deloitte, and it has been difficult to hire entry-level and experienced staff. The report indicates that by 2030, there could be a shortage of more than 2 million North American manufacturing workers, which would translate to trillions of dollars in potential losses.
On the other hand, the slowing economy resulted in more than 1,000 tech companies carrying out layoffs last year and so far about 400 tech companies this year. This means there is now a sudden influx of tech talent into the market.
The manufacturing industry can benefit greatly by dipping into the tech talent pool.
These two apparently unrelated circumstances—a significant manufacturing tech talent shortage and a new pool of job-seeking tech professionals—point to an obvious and critical solution: talented individuals who are available to solve difficult problems in manufacturing. Indeed, many tech professionals who are fed up with pursuing SaaS innovation and are looking for new ways to challenge themselves see a career shift to manufacturing as a way to have a real impact on the world.
When the web transitioned from 1.0 to 2.0, many people had to reskill themselves to keep up with evolving technology. This same pattern is now occurring in manufacturing as a new wave of tech talent with transferable skills is becoming available.
These tech professionals can build advanced machine-learning models, and they know how to ensure the models are deployed efficiently and effectively on fleets of systems. So this new tech talent is not only able to create cutting-edge technology but also ensure its successful implementation.
Let’s look at some areas where tech professionals can thrive and make a difference in the industry.
Generative AI tools
Generative AI tools are handy for designing hardware products and can fill in the blanks when design engineers might be stuck.
Computer-aided design (CAD) is software that helps designers create 3D models of parts and products. It helps create virtual prototypes and perform simulations to test the strength, stability and durability of a product. This helps manufacturers identify potential areas for improvement regarding the real-world performance of their designs. Many pieces of CAD software offer a range of AI optimization tools that can help reduce the number of iterations and costs associated with developing a product.
Machine-learning algorithms can be used to analyze a range of data, from product specifications to customer feedback to the creation and optimization of products. This data can be used to generate models of the product with improved performance or reduced costs compared with traditional designs. Machine-learning algorithms can also automate the design process, allowing designers to rapidly iterate on their ideas and create better products in a shorter amount of time.
Marketing and sales
Thanks to automation, factories can get a lot of use from marketing tech that can craft individualized customer experiences at scale. For example, businesses that reach out to prospects and leads across multiple channels can do so with targeted email nurture campaigns. For instance, wholesalers may submit their contact information to download a related eBook, while retailers may do the same to download a different one. After that, each person automatically receives a sequence of emails created to guide them toward becoming a customer.
Although manufacturing is a relationship-based business, leads can take a lot of work to come by, despite so many companies catering to the manufacturing space with technology like logistics software and equipment servicing. They could really benefit from updated marketing techniques that tech professionals can provide.
As an industry, manufacturing is accustomed to adopting new ideas—maybe at a different pace than the software industry, but there is plenty of scope. With the ever-growing demand for new, innovative products, tech professionals bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. In addition, they can help to develop new products and services to meet the changing needs of consumers.
Ultimately, manufacturers can remain competitive and successful in an ever-evolving market with the right tech professionals on board.