More than three in four (76% of) manufacturers have implemented a digital transformation program across multiple departments, according to the latest State of Manufacturing report from Parsec Automation Corp., and 71% of these manufacturers feel positively about the outcomes of their digitalization initiatives.
However, Parsec’s survey of over 500 manufacturing professionals in North America found that despite adopting new technologies, 31% of manufacturers who say they’ve completed their digital transformation initiatives are still collecting most or all of their data manually.
Most (52% of) manufacturers believe it’s “very” or “extremely” important for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to be standard features of enterprise software solutions. However, just 34% say they’re “very” or “extremely” prepared to leverage AI/ML tools.
For 46% of manufacturers, not having the right experience and knowledge on their team is impeding their adoption of AI and ML solutions. Half of survey respondents report that their most challenging staffing issue is a lack of skilled applicants.
Half of manufacturers also say that it’s most difficult to fill line worker positions, followed by quality technicians (32%), maintenance technicians (30%), and technical staff (26%).
Aside from skilled labor shortages, other commonly cited barriers to AI/ML adoption include:
- A lack of trust in AI/ML technology (39%)
- Implementation cost (33%)
- Availability of AI/ML ready technologies (30%)
- Data privacy and security (27%)
Finally, supply chain issues are still “very” or “extremely” challenging for 36% of manufacturers, with more than half (53%) reporting that their company is “hardly” or “somewhat” prepared to address these challenges. However, among batch manufacturers, including those producing food products, only 29% define their supply chain issues as “very” or “extremely” challenging.
For more insights on digital transformation, workforce challenges, and supply chain management in the manufacturing industry, see Parsec’s full report.