Manufacturing Looks Brighter in 2022 But Challenges Persist. Volatile market conditions have created significant challenges for the manufacturing industry since the pandemic began. Manufacturers have been forced to reexamine nearly every step of their process and look for ways to improve efficiency with their data, resources, and workforce.
The last two years brought some unique challenges to manufacturers including rising costs, supply chain issues, and material shortages. Most manufacturers have been forced to implement changes in order to meet these challenges, including acquiring new talent, adding capabilities, and diversifying product portfolios to act as a foundation for growth.
Since the pandemic began, manufacturers have had to deal with the very real challenge of a lack of resources – both supplies and actual workforce. Cass Precision Machining has worked to remain agile and has taken action to be resilient in the short term to set up future success. Future success in manufacturing depends on deriving actionable insights from the last two years to improve decision making and to drive value.
Here is how Cass has responded to some of the questions brought on by the two-year pandemic.
What have been the biggest changes at Cass over the last year and a half, due to the pandemic and all of its ramifications?
Cass has always been known for its outstanding customer service. For more than 75 years, serving our customers has been the fuel driving our company. In the past 18 months, our customers have asked us to do even more on their behalf. We have redoubled our efforts aimed at taking the best care possible of our entire customer base. This has caused us to rethink old standards in how we do business. We’ve implemented new tracking tools, become better at smaller lot sizes, and have enhanced how we work with our outside processing partners—all in the name of taking even better care of our customers.
As the country recovers from COVID-19, what new things will Cass implement to better support customers?
We are improving our internal systems to ensure responsiveness and drive the best possible value for our customers. We are focused on reducing lead time, improving our quality management and execution systems, and ensuring we have the best-trained workforce in the industry.
There is a lot of talk of manufacturers needing to diversify their supply chain. What does that entail for Cass Precision Machining?
Cass’s broad range of capabilities and experience uniquely enables us to provide services nobody else can. We can offer a variety of manufacturing solutions aimed at helping our customers reduce risk within their supply chains. We can accommodate service or preproduction parts and can scale up volume better than anyone to provide the best total cost of ownership for our customers. In terms of our own suppliers, we have expanded our supplier base and developed new partnerships aimed at reducing risk and opening more channels.
What changes have been implemented to ease disruptions to the supply chain?
Cass has been working hard to procure material in advance of customer needs, enhance partnerships with leading suppliers, and partner with customers in long term agreements to ensure reliable supply.
Is localizing the supply chain a legitimate pursuit?
A localized supply chain has always been a good idea—there’s no better way to ensure timely delivery at the highest quality than dealing with local partners who truly care about your business. The need for localization has only been emphasized in the past two years due to world events.
Is Cass continuing to digitize its supply chain? Will that make a big difference when further disruptions arise?
Cass has fully implemented its ERP solution and is now looking forward to working with suppliers to fully integrate them into the system. We will always strive for the human touch and meaningful relationships, and we believe a digital future supporting those values is key to success.
How long will it take for the supply chain to return to “normal”? Or will it ever?
We anticipate that shipping delays and supply shortages will begin to ease in late 2022 and into 2023, but underlying impacts mean the future will not look much like the past. There will be more emphasis on transparency in the supply chain, reliable local supply, and long-term partnerships that will benefit everyone involved.
What’s next for Cass Precision Machining in 2022?
As we continue to grow and serve our customers better, we believe that we are in a unique position to attract more top-level talent. We will also continue to make significant investment in automation and training to enable even more consistency and reliability.
The realities of the pandemic combined with existing trends in the manufacturing landscape means that companies must be more efficient and nimbler than ever in addressing the skills gap and labor shortages. With demand for manufactured goods always on the uptick, Cass continues a top-to-bottom evaluation of all processes, identifying ways to increase efficiency and to continue to support our customer base in any way we can.