When it comes to recruitment, the U.S. manufacturing industry has taken a multi-decade hit. High school and college institutions have reduced the emphasis on skills-based education and public perception has been tarnished by recessions and layoffs—not to mention the inaccurate perception that manufacturing is outdated, dirty, repetitive work. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Today’s manufacturing plant floor is a vibrant network of people, materials, and high-tech equipment that moves with precision and efficiency. MFC Netform Corporation, maker of cold-formed metal components used for powertrains in automotive and agriculture, is a perfect example. Enterprise business computing analyst, Den Howlett of Diginomica, remarked in a post entitled, Factory of the Future, that the level of manufacturing automation on MFC Netform’s plant floor was “truly impressive” and that “robots and automated machining lines do much of the ‘work.’” He also noted that the company has “one of the cleanest plant floors I’ve ever seen.” The company's management attributes its cloud ERP investment during the great recession as a critical factor in surviving the downturn and being able to run leaner. Equally important, the company sees cloud ERP as an example of the type of technology investment that will enable them to attract and hire a new generation of technology-savvy workers.