An Industry Changed

It’s no secret that manufacturing was one of the hardest hit industries by COVID-19. The mass shuttering of factories tanked businesses, disrupted supply chains, and put millions out of work around the world.

The numbers are quite staggering. A report from Interact Analysis noted that nearly $3 trillion of global industrial production would be lost due to the pandemic. Between January and April of 2020, 1.4 million manufacturing jobs were lost in the US alone according to Bloomberg. In order to make ends meet, manufacturing workers were forced to find work elsewhere or leave the field altogether, putting even more stress on the already significant talent gap.

The outlook isn’t entirely grim, however. The global shutdown has created pent-up demand which poses a huge opportunity for multiple industries that desperately need it. In order to seize that opportunity, there’s one big question manufacturers need to solve: how do we meet this pent-up demand when a good chunk of our workforce is gone?

The Future of Work

Thankfully, the answer to this question is one manufacturers are already fairly familiar with: automation. Investing in automation will not only help cover for COVID-19 related job losses, it will also help to fulfill previous workforce challenges associated with the aging workforce and talent gap.

Additionally, workforce enablement solutions like Expert on Demand and Cisco Webex can help manufacturers spread their resources across multiple facilities. Rather than hiring multiple experts to support multiple facilities, one remote expert can cover them all in a centralized location.

While this increased level of digitization increases the area of exposure to security threats, Cisco offers industrial security products and solutions, as well as architectures that are NIST and ISA Compliant. This enables manufacturers to easily extend their security coverage more broadly across their plant operations.

As the world begins to move out of the Pandemic and restrictions begin to loosen, manufacturers are gearing up their factories so that they are not only ready to meet demand, but to face whatever the future brings. Is your factory ready?

Join us for Hannover Messe Digital Days where we’ll explore these ideas and more. Find out how to attend Hannover Messe for free in our Know Before You Go blog.

Watch our Hannover Messe keynote:

Industrial Pioneers Bosch and Estée Lauder Discuss Industry 4.0 and What’s Ahead
Wednesday, April 14 @ 5:30 p.m. CET

(U.S. times: 11:30 a.m. ET | 8:30 a.m. PT)

Check out our Hannover Messe Events page for information on all of our sessions, resources and more. We look forward to seeing you there!


Emily Crawford

Vice President - Americas, Midwest-Atlantic

Global Enterprise Sales