A Closer Look at the Impact of COVID-19 on Manufacturing Industries
Effect of COVID-19 on Production & Consumer Behavior
COVID-19 introduced a great deal of change to the economy and affected businesses throughout the world. Along with this, consumer behavior has been influenced in the following ways:
- Spike in online shopping. With the general public social distancing and many stores closing during lockdown, consumers have flocked to online storefronts.
- Increased demand for essential goods. From toilet paper to personal protective equipment (PPE), consumers sheltering in place have stocked up on a variety of necessary items to have on hand.
- Desire for new products and services. With many people experiencing more free time on their hands, consumers are trying new products and subscriptions.
- Seeking out large brands. During uncertain times like a pandemic, consumers are finding comfort in brands they know and trust.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Global Manufacturing Sectors
Among every industry affected by COVID-19, the manufacturing world was among those hit the hardest. The virus originated in China, which is also the location of many factories that supply important materials to manufacturing units worldwide. When lockdown ensued, the pandemic’s impact on the manufacturing industry took a great toll. The following global manufacturing sectors have been most affected:
Typically, the USA and many other nations source materials for pharmaceuticals directly and indirectly from China. When the virus began to spread, however, it limited operational capacity in China and caused supply shortages.
Additionally, the pandemic outbreak made the need for items like sanitizer and PPE more important than ever. As a result, pharma manufacturers have had to invest a great deal of time and resources into increasing production levels of these products.
Food & Beverage
When COVID-19 first began to spread, so did the general public’s panic. As consumers went to grocery stores to stock up on food, it caused various supply chain issues. With scarce shelves, stores have experienced significantly increased consumption, and companies have needed to boost production to keep up with demand.
As a result of offline stores closing worldwide, the cosmetics industry has experienced a decrease in sales. Additionally, when many countries were under complete lockdown, it was challenging to find markets where these goods could be exported. Labor shortage and reduced demand have caused manufacturers to shut down their production units.
Responding to the Pandemic’s Impact on the Manufacturing Industry
Problems in the manufacturing industry due to COVID-19 have led to reduced demand and disrupted supply chains. But they’ve also presented opportunities for growth, innovation and competitive advantage in the industry. To bounce back from the impact of COVID-19 on manufacturing industries, we recommend your facility does the following:
Implement Increased Sanitation & Safety Procedures
Taking proactive measures can help keep your team safe and prevent the spread of harmful germs and bacteria. From banning visitors on factory floors to increasing the amount of distance between your staff, there are numerous procedures you can implement. Doing this will give your team peace of mind and help create a more hygienic workplace.
Find Back-Up Suppliers
When countries went into lockdown, many manufacturers experienced a lack of access to suppliers. This pandemic impact on the manufacturing industry caused many production processes to cease. To avoid this happening in the future, revisit your factory’s sourcing strategies. Consider where you get the supplies to create your company’s products. If another disaster were to strike, would you still have access to them? Even if the answer is “yes,” it’s a good idea to seek alternative suppliers and have back-up options, just in case. This could ultimately help you avoid having to pause production and/or shut down in the future.
Examine Your Supply Chain for Areas of Improvement
With or without problems in the manufacturing industry due to COVID-19, it’s always smart to look for ways to improve your production process. Spend some time evaluating your supply chain’s agility and determine opportunities to make it more resilient. Focus on the automation of repetitive tasks and predictive maintenance to help your production process run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.