Although we are fewer than three months into the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, its impact on the future of manufacturing is already being discussed by industry analysts and in professional publications. Although there isn’t perfect agreement, there are a number of different data points available, including a very interesting study carried out by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), some of which we’ll recap here.
What does the current manufacturing landscape look like under COVID-19?
The SME study revealed some interesting facts about where manufacturing stands overall:
- Nearly every study participant was still up and running, with half running at full capacity.
- Only 8% of the organizations interviewed were not operational.
- The manufacturers most likely to be shut down were those in automotive production.
- Manufacturers producing materials for educational/academic settings were more likely than average to be operating normally.
- In general, smaller companies are faring better than large; companies with fewer than 100 employees were 50% more likely to still be fully operational than those with more than 2500 employees.
How do manufacturers feel about the future?
Interestingly, optimism still reigns, at least according to SME. In fact, 68% of their study’s respondents said that they were “somewhat” or “very” optimistic that their area of manufacturing would recover to pre-COVID levels by the end of 2020. Only 25% believed that they would not be back to normal by that time. Other interesting findings included a greater focus on:
- Remote work, with larger companies more able to consider allowing employees to work from home
- Disaster preparedness planning
- Cross-training skilled workers
- Diversifying and/or expanding product offerings/portfolios
- Investing in new technologies including additive manufacturing and 5G network infrastructure
- Utilizing more U.S. suppliers as part of their supply chain
While the full impact of COVID-19 on manufacturing will not be known for quite some time, it’s still clear that the industry is playing, and will continue to play, a primary role in keeping the economy running during an unprecedented time.
About EVS Metal
EVS Metal is an American precision metal fabricator headquartered in Riverdale, NJ. We serve a diverse customer base across North America, providing a range of services from ITAR-compliant, quick-turn prototypes to high-volume production runs. Our machinists and operators utilize the latest technology to cut, bend and finish stand-alone items as well as parts for integration or assembly into more complex products.
Our four ISO 9001:2015-certified locations in NJ, TX, PA and NH comprise over 250,000 square feet of vertically-integrated manufacturing space and feature the most modern equipment available, from lasers and CNC machining centers to automated powder coating lines. Online quotes are available via our website, or by calling 1-888-9EVS-MET.