The challenges of manufacturing demand


A global economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic is helping drive demand for domestically produced goods, and New Jersey manufacturers are struggling to secure materials under limited supply conditions.ns because they are also grappling with longer-lasting issues, including, but not limited to, truck driver and labor shortages in the manufacturing sector. This latter concern, in particular, is one that many New Jersey entities are working to address.


Supply chain problems are glaring as a large portion of the world’s 7.8 billion people remain unvaccinated against the coronavirus, sometimes resulting in cargo ships subject to certain international conditions. restrictions, and hinderg the greater ability of manufacturers to easily produce parts and products. As John Lohse, President and Sole Owner of the Somerset-based precision deep hole drilling and lapping company Betar, Inc., comments: “[The United States] type of [has its] thatt together, but when you see how other countries work, it’s almost scary. I can see the problems on the docks to bring in shipments. “

In the middle of this maze, which includes slow shipments and increasing international shipping costs that can erodeIn case of lesser advantages for foreign labor (think: maybe $ 3,000 in container shipping costs a few years ago, compared to maybe $ 19,000 to $ 20,000 today ), many US companies of all shapes and sizes are now looking to source productsyou need. It’s a boon to American manufacturers, Lohse adding, “If a manufacturer isn’t making money now, they’re doing something wrong.

However, such a demand simultaneously serves to strain manufacturers, and the realities of these dynamics.s are multi-faceted: Manufacturers may offer prices based on rare and volatile underlying materials that might only be valid until the end of a day.

Paul Schindel, association director for the New Jersey Technology and Manufacturing Association (NJTMA) and President of Three Bears Communications, reveals that the NJTMA has been offering monthly educational seminars since April 2020 focusing on topics ranging from Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and related programs to workplace safety. Such teaching program focused on the supply of materials.

Schindel explains, “We had representatives from one of the major suppliers to many of our members – Penn Stainless – to talk about the [ongoing] shortages. They weren’t sure what materials they would have and when … aAnd they priced it daily because one day it’s $ 1, and the next day it’s $ 1.50. “

He adds, “It goes up and down the economic chain because the manufacturing companies – the machining companies – can’t do much to keep prices down. “


Adding to the equation is the fact that many American truck drivers have retired in recent years, and they are not being replaced quickly enough. It not only takes time to train new drivers, but a lot of people are clamoring for the truckg The industry is no longer an attractive job for the middle class in part because of its harsh living conditions, so potential newbies can avoid it.

Lohse says, “A lot of times we call trucks and they don’t show up. We have to call them back the next day, and sometimes even for three or four days. I think it’s the drivers, and I’m not sure what kind of dispatchers they have either… I hope they’re not on top.


Another deep-The problem posed for manufacturers is the shortage of manpower: people willing, able and trained to work in factories.

According to Torsten Schimanski, director of workforce development and apprenticeship at the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP), there is a perception problem with the Garden State manufacturing career. He says that many New Jersey residents estimate that there could be a total of 5 to 500 manufacturing companies across the Garden State, so essentially they’re hesitant to undergo training for an industry they mistakenly believe is disappearing. However, there are actually around 11,000 manufacturers in New Jersey employing some 245,600 workers who earn an average salary of $ 92,097 – and companies are practically begging for people to join their teams.

Another misconception is that manufacturing floors are dirty and greasy environments, when this is often not the case: Advances in manufacturing technology have resulted in factory environments that are sometimes not only clean, but it also requires advanced skilled workers – and well paid.


Various manufacturing stakeholders have strived to create a pipeline of new workers: NJMEP represents the state’s talent networks for advanced manufacturing, asd Transport, Logistics and Distribution, which links and develops skilled labor sectors through involvement with “labor organizations, industry, educational establishments and one-stop career centers unique ”; community colleges have established prgrams to support advanced manufacturing; the German-American Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with community colleges and with New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) funding has advanced manufacturing appreinternship program; and the New Jersey Institute of Technology has an advanced manufacturing training program.


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