#185 – Inside Our Industry – Reshoring, AI, EVs, And More: 2024 Predictions for The Manufacturing Industry

Posted on | Inside Our Industry

Predictions for the manufacturing industry in 2024 have been fairly consistent. Following is Ethan Karp’s top 5 list…  Click on the Source link at the bottom for more details on each trend.

Reshoring, AI, EVs, And More: 2024 Predictions for The Manufacturing Industry
Ethan Karp, manufacturingsuccess.org, Contributor, Jan 8, 2024

In 2023, manufacturers navigated their way through emerging technologies, assessed rapidly evolving societal views on work, and faced the ever-present threat of recession. As always, 2024 promises to be full of more surprises.

How will these trends shift and shape up in 2024? Here are five predictions for the coming year in manufacturing.

  1. Manufacturers Will Reshore—by Capturing New Opportunity – Last year, I predictedreshoring would ratchet up. It has, and will continue to, but the largest gains are being driven by companies capturing new opportunities in the United States, rather than bringing significant foreign operations back home.When it comes to nearshoring, I wrote earlier this year about how manufacturers are bringing some foreign operations closer to home—namely, to Mexico—seeking greater resilience, closer proximity, and moderate costs. Expect that trend to continue into 2024, as well.
  1. The EV Hype Pendulum Will Swing Again (and Again, and Again…) – We closed 2023 on a down note in the world of electric vehicles. Major automakers have recently halted work on new factories and adjusted down sales targets. A year ago, the news cycle was flooded with EV makers projecting massive growth and announcing new deals.My prediction for 2024? The pendulum will swing back—and going forward, perhaps back again, and again, and again. The news and noise around EVs will remain loud, but manufacturers would be smart to track it unemotionally, letting the facts be their guide.
  1. Despite Long-Term Promise, Manufacturers Won’t Need to Invest Directly in Shop-floor AI in 2024 – There are some great things manufacturers can already do with artificial intelligence when it comes to marketing, sales, and personalization (watch some YouTube videos on this topic to convince yourself that you should be experimenting with ChatGPT and other AI already for these purposes). But by and large, manufacturers shouldn’t lose their head in AI.
  2. Our Workforce Challenges Will (*sigh*) Remain Challenging – The stats around the collective headspace of our workforce remain staggering. Gallup’s 2023 State of the Global Workplace report revealed that an astonishing six out of 10 employees are quiet quitting—a majority of the workforce. The study defines the term as “what happens when someone psychologically disengages from work.”One of the most important things manufacturers can do to combat this is improve their workplace culture. Employees tend to work harder when they feel connected to their teammates and the larger reasons their jobs matter—fostering both of these things goes a long way to creating loyal, driven employees. So does accounting for the varied needs of the diverse workforce, which includes members of a whopping four generations.
  1. Manufacturing May Offer a Reprieve from Polarization – Election years are hard on all of us. This one will be no different, promising to drive us apart in some ways we can forecast and many we cannot.

But here’s hoping that manufacturing remains a place of agreement amid the charged discourse. As election season heats up, here’s hoping that bipartisan support of our industry continues.

Ethan Karp is the President and CEO of non-profit consulting group MAGNET, the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network. His website is manufacturingsuccess.org.