Overcoming the Labor Shortage: 6 Ways to Get Your Backlogged Projects on Track
November 3, 2021
Reduce Backlogged Projects with Savvy Manufacturing Strategies
Backlogged projects can really throw a wrench in your plans. They can leave your production line at a standstill, delay your deliveries to customers, and ultimately, eat at your bottom line.
Realistically in manufacturing, you’ll likely face a backlog of some type at some point. For example, minor backlogs could be stalled around employee sick time and vacations or slightly delayed supply deliveries. Unfortunately, the industry as a whole is now facing bigger issues like widespread labor and supply shortages, causing backlogs in manufacturing unseen in recent history.
But it’s not all bad news. A savvy manufacturing strategy includes contingencies that allow you to keep your projects moving forward despite fluctuating circumstances. We’re here to share some practical advice to help you problem solve for your current and future backlogged projects.
5 Strategies to Take Control of Your Backlogged Manufacturing Projects
1. Partner with a Custom Electronics Manufacturer
If you’re currently set up to tackle your projects in-house and you’re facing staffing challenges or issues with your suppliers, there’s no better time to consider a manufacturing partner to help you whittle down your list of outstanding projects. Quality contract manufacturers are generally comprised of a fully staffed, highly skilled workforce and backed by a robust, diversified supply chain. If the source of your backlogging issues lies in-house, this could be an ideal solution for you!
2. Consider Multi-Sourcing for Supply Shortage
If you already have an electronics manufacturing partner and you’re still facing backlogging issues, consider a multi-source strategy. Many grew accustomed to having single-source partnerships in manufacturing decades ago for lower price points per unit and higher relational value.
However, globalization has made single-sourcing increasingly risky. Not to mention wide-spread labor shortages (which is unlikely to resolve itself soon) make it nearly impossible to rely on a single supplier or manufacturer. Today, it’s wise to have manufacturing resources around the globe – offshore, onshore, and as local as possible – to help mitigate risks and pivot on demand.
3. Diversify Your Supply Chain
The same principle applies to your supply chain, especially if you handle the majority of your production in-house. While it can be seemingly more cost effective to have a single supplier offshore, having a domestic source could be your lifeline if a catastrophic event were to impact your primary supplier.
Also, when considering a partnership with an electronics manufacturer, remember to ask about about their sourcing. Ensure they have a reliable, diversified supply chain. If their supply chain isn’t diversified, then you won’t be strategically set up to effectively mitigate risks and your projects will still be backlogged.
4. Bring Your Projects Onshore
We briefly mentioned this, but it deserves a point on its own. If you’re still relying on manufacturers and suppliers offshore, consider partnering with onshore sources as well to eliminate international issues like closed borders, customs barriers, and shipping delays.
Again, you’ll need to do your research and ask questions to ensure who you are contracting with isn’t dependent on offshore sources.
5. Move Your Projects In-house
Does your team have the technical skillset to take your projects in-house? If so, this could be a solution for your backlogging issues. However, it’s quite the undertaking to ensure you have the necessary equipment, ability to maintain it, access to needed components, capacity, and manpower.
6. Consider Automation for Labor Shortage
Finally, consider automation. The top cause of backlogged projects right now is a shortage of labor. True, supplies can be scarce. But the supply shortage is mostly a result of the labor crisis. There isn’t enough manpower to unload ships at dock. There aren’t enough truck drivers to haul the goods across the country. And turnover has been so high in the workforce as a result of the pandemic, there aren’t enough skilled workers to get the job done.
Multiple industries are now having to consider where they can automate processes to fill vacancies and where robotics can be implemented to keep production rolling. At Electro Soft, we’re helping to innovate solutions for this increasing challenge by building components for automated vehicles and robotics.
As you analyze the root cause of your backlogged projects, consider how technology could provide lasting solutions to your existing challenges.
Added Benefits of Partnering with a Custom Electronics Manufacturer
With our established relationships with vendors, precise quality control processes, and accurate forecasting, electronics manufacturers like Electro Soft can help you keep your costs low and avoid escalating expenses on your next electronics build.
Want to learn more about how we can help you avoid scope creep on your next project? Keep reading here.