Back shot of a group of workers with hard hats and hi viz suits on an industrial site

As the global economy continues to navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with increasing inflation rates, there is a growing concern about the possibility of a recession. 

While the impact of a recession would be felt across many industries, one area that could be particularly hard hit is the industrial sector. Industries that are heavily reliant on exports may be particularly hard-hit if global demand for their products decreases and consumer spending behaviours change. Similarly, industries that are dependent on a specific raw material or supply chain may also face challenges if that supply chain is disrupted. The impact of an economic downturn may vary depending on the specific industry, but there are some common themes that we’ve come across. From software and process efficiencies to an ageing workforce, we’ll explore some of the potential impacts of an upcoming recession on the industrial sector and how to mitigate these.

 

Doing more with less
A key trend that will impact the industrial workforce is the need for workers to do more with less. Companies are often forced to reduce their workforce or cut back on costs, meaning remaining employees need to be more productive and efficient. This can lead to increased stress levels and burnout among employees as they struggle to meet the demands of their roles. As businesses seek to cut costs and streamline their operations, ensuring you have the right tools and processes in place is key. Looking to automation for some of these tools and processes should ease workloads for employees. By embracing new technologies and processes, businesses can create a more efficient and productive workforce that is better equipped to meet the challenges of the future, while gaining competitive advantage.

 

Leveraging existing systems
Businesses can improve efficiency and productivity by leveraging their existing systems and ensuring that these systems work together seamlessly. This means integrating different technologies and processes to create a more streamlined and effective workflow. By using automation, analytics, and decision support such as PI, SAP, Maximo and Power BI, businesses can gain greater visibility into their operations and make more informed decisions about how to optimize their processes.


Knowledge sharing
Staff turnover and layoffs are an unavoidable and unfortunate consequence of a recession. As businesses continue to adapt to changing market conditions, there will inevitably be a need for companies to make tough decisions about their staffing levels. While staff turnover and layoffs can be challenging for businesses and workers alike, it’s critical to capture knowledge to avoid losing valuable information and technical know-how that has been built up over many years.

 

Ageing workforce
Another factor impacting the industrial workforce is the retirement of older workers. Many Baby Boomers, who make up a significant portion of the workforce in the industrial sector, are reaching retirement age. This is creating a gap in the workforce that needs to be filled by younger workers. To combat these challenges, companies must invest in knowledge capture and sharing. By implementing systems to capture the knowledge and expertise of experienced employees, businesses can ensure that this knowledge is not lost when employees retire or leave the company. This knowledge can then be shared with new employees, ensuring a smooth transition and reducing the impact of an ageing workforce.

 

Conclusion
The impacts of an upcoming recession on the industrial workforce are likely to be significant, added pressure for efficiency, changes in priorities, and a shift in demand for industrial products. However, with proactive measures from companies, it may be possible to mitigate these impacts and ensure that the industrial workforce is well-equipped to weather the challenges.

Asset Intellect & Alarm Sentinel provides a user-configurable platform to increase productivity and efficiency – delivering a win-win solutions for staff and management. Integration with SAP and a wiki entry, provide manual entry and read/write functionality, ensuring knowledge transfer remains within the company, despite staffing challenges. Asset Intellect provides a single pane of pane to drive smarter decision-making and remain competitive in a challenging market.

 

If you’re looking to future-proof your business and systems, book a demo with us to find out more about Dimension Software.