Top Manufacturing Trends & Challenges for 2020

What does the coming year hold for you? We may not have a crystal ball, but when we speak with our manufacturing leaders and candidates, we discuss their real-time industry trends and challenges. Here is a glimpse into their Trends and Challenges for 2020.


  1. Improving end-to-end visibility across their plants to increase volume production and achieve tighter per unit cost control.  Manufacturers are going to adopt end-to-end visibility also to increase manufacturing efficiency, lessen the impact of product recalls, optimize manufacturing schedules and reduce manufacturing costs.
  2. Real-time monitoring improvements. From batch to process manufacturing to unlock data needed to monitor and control costs. 81% of manufacturers say real-time monitoring is improving their business in a recent survey. Unlocking data to track machine utilization, scrap and downtime reporting; and improving production plan performance.
  3. Greater Visibility into Data. Adopting predictive analytics, performing root cause analysis, improving product quality, and controlling costs. A continued trend focuses on identifying new ways to gain production efficiency across their shop floors while minimizing the impact of labor shortages, higher material costs and tightening regulatory costs and reporting.


  1. Tech-Savvy and Skilled Employee Shortage.This is not the kind of Lean we were hoping for.” As manufacturers increasingly rely on technology, their need to hire tech-savvy employees is increasing. The challenge is that there are not enough skilled employees to fill the number of open jobs. A recent survey conducted by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte Consulting LLP recently shared that approximately 60 percent of today’s unfilled manufacturing jobs is due to a shortage of applicants with enough proficiency in science, technology, engineering, and math skills (STEM).
  2. Sustainability & Energy Efficiency. Many manufacturers are implementing social initiatives as a business model to contribute to profitability. Manufacturers already heading down this path have developed or plan to change their products and services to make a more positive impact on the environment. Those who have made changes report that these initiatives have helped them to generate new revenue streams