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Industrial Manufacturing: Is This A Good Time To Break Into The Sector?

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Industrial manufacturing is a hard sector to break into. After all, it requires a great deal of equipment, the establishment of extensive supply chains, and a wide variety of management and technical skills.

Like many industries, however, heavy equipment manufacturing was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted the aforementioned supply chains, which means that end-users are dealing with equipment shortages, as well as unusually high prices for used machinery.

That means that, with international shipping lines reestablished and facilities running at capacity again, this could be the ideal time to break into the field.

A Changing Moment For Manufacturing

It’s easy to think of heavy equipment manufacturing as, in many ways, stuck in time. Though automation has changed some things about the industry, it’s true that many aspects of starting a manufacturing business remain the same as they were decades ago.

Successful professionals are skilled networkers who are constantly building new sales leads, have a strong rapport with staff, and have the technical understanding necessary to navigate the field. Still, we’re also in the midst of some substantial changes that are rocking the industry – what some have termed a “new industrial revolution.

What defines this supposed new revolution? It’s all about the new technical skills that make for great industrial workers, many of which can be earned through vocational high school programs or other training programs, rather than college.

These include traditional skills like welding, as well as more high-tech abilities, like robotics and repair of specialty machinery, but it’s hard to find sufficiently qualified workers for these roles, especially in an industry where top machinists may be closer to retirement age than entry level.

Networking And The Nitty Gritty

Entrepreneurs considering breaking into the heavy machinery manufacturing world may think they understand the broad strokes of the industry, but upon getting in, they often don’t know much about the technical requirements that frame the work. That’s why having a strong network is so important. These networks of wisdom will also part be reflected within your supply chain.

When heavy equipment manufacturers sell their products, those items obviously come with extensive instructions for operations, but people can’t be expected to dig those out when they’re in the field.

That’s why all heavy equipment needs to be equipped with ID plates that communicate tech specs, maintenance needs, and other important information, but their production is so different from what happens in a heavy equipment production facility that they need to be made by a specialized provider. Like so many other elements within manufacturing, all the right pieces need to come together for a business to be successful.

AI: Solution Or Challenge

Artificial intelligence and other automated technologies obviously play a role in how any new heavy equipment manufacturing operates, but AI-related technology is also much more challenging to maintain. That raises hiring challenges for new entrepreneurs, but getting started at this moment may also give businesses an edge.

That’s because a lot of other companies are in a position where they need to upgrade to more advanced, automated equipment; new businesses can get started with this kind of technology as their baseline. Whether that’s AI construction machinery or automated production line elements, that could be a powerful competitive advantage.

When starting a new business, entrepreneurs face a great deal of uncertainty, so there’s no guarantee you’ll be successful, even if you have perfect timing. Still, the market does seem distinctly primed for more heavy equipment manufacturing right now, largely as a result of the pandemic’s impact on the overall production capacity.

Starting a new business means embracing the risks involved while being strategic. Read the moment – the economy, the demand, the industry – then make a move.

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Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in tech, social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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