Editor's Note: New Year, New Challenges

The new year brings change, which isn’t always easy, and sometimes it can be hard to get motivated to embrace something new and different. Change can be good for us though, and sometimes even necessary.

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Bethe Croy, Associate EditorBethe Croy, Associate Editor

This article originally appeared in the January/February edition of IMPO Magazine. To view the digital version, click here

As we settle into the new year, we focus on fresh resolutions. We vow to make changes in order to better ourselves and our lives. Whether it’s losing weight, quitting bad habits, making time for a hobby or even taking on more responsibility at work, there are a slew of reasons why we come to the conclusion that we should implement these goals. Eventually, though, some of these changes are too drastic or difficult — or even scary, sometimes — and they end up falling through or fading out.

The new year brings change, which isn’t always easy, and sometimes it can be hard to get motivated to embrace something new and different. Doing things “the way they’ve always been done” feels so much more simple and comfortable in many cases. Change can be good for us though, and sometimes even necessary.

The same concept can be applied to your manufacturing plant. Maybe your company has spent so much time operating in a specific way that imagining any other method can be stressful, to say in the least. However, the manufacturing industry is facing a slew of changes and challenges — from rapidly evolving technology to new regulations and everything in between.

As I’m sure you’re aware, the manufacturing sector is facing a few serious struggles lately, with dropping job gains and the impending skills gap immediately coming to mind. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced that the manufacturing sector added only 30,000 jobs in 2015, a massive drop from the 215,000 added in 2014.

So how can we address these growing issues? The only answer is change.

Change keeps a manufacturer competitive. Implement new technology to improve operations, make eco-friendly changes to save on costs, use software to better track inventory — make these changes, because after the initial rough patch of transitioning from one method to another, you will very likely see improvement.

Of course, sometimes we have a choice in making the change, and other times changes are simply thrust upon us. In either case, it is important to focus on not just the desired goals of your operations, but the necessary changes — whether you choose them or they choose you — that you must make for overall productivity.

Rather than shy away from change, I encourage you to embrace it. Why? Because that change can make you competitive. It can improve a previously lengthy or complicated process. In some cases, it can save you money and time by increasing efficiency. Other times, change is simply the only option to stay afloat during a challenge in the industry.

Stepping out of your comfort zone can prove to be very rewarding.

What changes do you think your plant could benefit from most this year? Email me at Bethe.Croy@advantagemedia.com.

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