MFG Utah | Workforce Issue

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5 Workforce 2023 Megan Ware, Director of Workforce Development Table of Contents 13 UMA Competitiveness Redbook Utah Manufacturers Association 7 UMA Staff February 2023 9 Overhaul Your Safety Program to Reduce Risk EMC Insurance and CUI Agency 2023 BOARD OF DIRECTORS UMA CHAIRMAN Johnny Ferry Honeyville, Inc. 1ST VICE CHAIR Matt Wardle JD Machine 2ND VICE CHAIR Karen Griffin JAS. D. EASTON, INC. SECRETARY/ TREASURER Erin Barry Merit Medical IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR Clint Morris Lifetime Products, Inc. UMA PRESIDENT/CEO Todd Bingham Utah Manufacturers Association DIRECTORS: Alex Dobsky Mity Inc. Bill Johnson Barnes Bullets Brad Shafer Marathon Petroleum Company Brett Barton Fresenius Medical Care Brett Burningham Hydro Extrusions Brian E. Anderson Rocky Mountain Power Eric Pope US Synthetic Evan Hill Rio Tinto Kristina Brown Chevron Lucy Andre Stadler US Inc Mariacarmen Ventura Edwards Lifesciences Mark Paul Stryker Mark Walker Energy Solutions Michael Gleason Hexcel Corporation Ryan Carlile L3 Harris Russell Mann Northrop Grumman Steve Young Holland & Hart Travis Aardema Swire Coca-Cola, USA Todd Groll Orbit Gregg Robison Ram Aviation, Spave & Defense Jennifer Clark Dominion Energy Jason Glade Taffy Town Jace Johnson Key Bank 17 Current Workforce Issues Diana Guetschow, Workforce Training Professional 21 Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing by ChatGPT (AI) 19 Elevating Women and Girls in Manufacturing Dr. Tulinda Larsen, Executive Director, UAMMI 23 Apprenticeship Programs, What Can We Learn from Germany? by Megan Ware, Director of Workforce Development 25 Can AI Save Our Manufacturing? by Christian Hunter Sales Engineer at In-Position Technologies 27 CONNEX Marketplace Utah by CONNEX Marketplace Utah
EMC and CUI Agency is the team you can trust to protect your manufacturing operation. We provide personalized, local service that supports long-lasting partnerships, helping us better understand your business and offer the right insurance options to keep your manufacturing operation running smoothly. And with the knowledge and expertise to protect countless types of manufacturers, you can Count on EMC ® and CUI to have you covered. ©Copyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2022. All rights reserved. EMC Insurance Companies | Des Moines, IA | 800-447-2295 Ask CUI about their preferred pricing for the EMC Manufacturing Program. You make it. Let us protect it. TANNER OWENS, CUI Agency President | 801-352-1161

Workforce 2023

As we finish out Q1 of 2023 unemployment and job growth numbers continue to trend strong in Utah. January 2023 numbers released by the Department of Workforce Services show that Utah is still sitting at 2.4 unemployment and a national average of 3.4 and job growth at 2.8 and 3.3 respectively. Despite an anticipated recession, these numbers continue to show a strong employment market in Utah.

For me, the question always is not only about attracting talent, but more importantly, retaining talent. With the cost of replacing an employee being anywhere between 6 - 9 months salary this issue hits your bottom line, hard. While it’s not always feasible to match an offer that an incumbent worker has received outside your organization, data shows that things like job stability, job growth, and meaningful work are equally as important as salary. Are you as a company taking into consideration that which is important to them? Conducting an employee satisfaction survey is one of the easiest ways to get the pulse of your employees and guide management in decisions that directly affect each employee. Unsatisfied workers cannot ever be fully productive, ultimately costing the organization money. While the survey is important, what you do with the results is critical, people want to be heard. Imagine how morale is affected when they take the survey, talk to each other about their answers, and see no change. Not all change has to come with a high price tag.

A common theme we hear over and over is that employees want to feel that their company is willing to invest in them and has a clear career path with milestones. Data shows that by investing in training the ROI has anywhere from an 8/10 benefit cost ratio. Further, evidence shows that of employees that receive upskilling, 94% stay up to a year longer than employees who do not.

On the benefits side, I would encourage companies to ensure they are benchmarking their benefits at least every 3 years. This ensures both the employer and employee are getting the best value for health and retirement benefits. Is the product you’re offering still the best fit for your current base of employees?


An employee base made up of young single adults benefit needs are very different from an older or more family centric population.

UMA is set up to help you with many of your workforce needs. We offer large group health, dental, vision, and 401(k) plans so that you, as a small - medium sized employer, can potentially compete with much larger companies. We offer connections and discounted services for recruiting options, culture tools, HR training and so much more. Additionally, we currently offer affordable options for training in OSHA and Frontline Leadership, and are in development of additional curriculum for team building, mentor training, and other workforce development topics.

We always encourage you to reach out with any needs you may have. We have a wide network and will work with you to find the solutions that your organization needs.

Lloyd Jensen Vice President LinkedIn Profile Todd Bingham President/CEO LinkedIn Profile Justin Hawkes Business Development Manager LinkedIn Profile
428 E. Winchester St. #210 Murray, UT 84107 Phone: 801-363-3885
Jenny Snow Director of Administrative Operations Mikenley McQuiston Marketing Manager LinkedIn Profile Megan Ware Director of Workforce Development LinkedIn Profile Joshua Davis Director of Workplace Safety LinkedIn Profile Martin Moore Workforce Development Manager LinkedIn Profile Brock Jensen Business Development Specialist LinkedIn Profile Austin Emery Operations Assistant LinkedIn Profile Aimee Snow Administrative Assistant

Overhaul Your Safety Program to Reduce Risks

EMC Insurance and CUI Agency

Most industries involve some risk, from manufacturing to construction to care facilities. No matter what industry your business is in, creating and maintaining a safety-conscious culture should always be top-ofmind.

OSHA estimates that an effective, up-to-date workplace safety plan can reduce an organization’s injury and illness costs by an incredible 20 to 40 percent. Keeping workers safe and costs under control requires preventive practices and safe behaviors. Follow these steps to enhance your workplace safety program to help reduce claims and keep your workers safe.

Where to Start: Evaluating Your Safety Program

Let’s begin by evaluating your current safety program. Employers should periodically step back and assess what’s working and what’s not. Luckily, auditing your workplace safety program doesn’t have to be an overly complicated process.

Here are four steps to evaluating your current safety program:

Step 1: Assess management, leadership and employee involvement—visit each department to get a feel for whether people are invested in the workplace safety program. Leadership buy-in is essential for a safety-oriented culture.

Step 2: Analyze worksite and hazard prevention/ control efforts—consider how well the program

accounts for health and safety hazards. Break the organization down into segments and evaluate the environment for each segment to identify potential risks. Pay attention to shop layout, environmental hazards (such as dust or slip and fall risks), lifting hazards or repetitive motion.

Step 3: Revisit health and safety training and education protocol—review how employees at all levels are trained on workplace safety. A good rule of thumb is to train:

• New hires

• Individuals who recently transferred or changed assignments

• Any time a new process, substance, or piece of equipment is added

• Any time new hazards are identified

• Any time refresher training is needed or required by regulations

Step 4: Assess your workplace safety plan—consider whether your workplace safety plan is achieving its purpose. Ask the following questions:

• Is the plan up to date?

• Is the plan easily accessible by all employees?

• Can your employees easily activate the plan?

How to Address Hazards

Anything identified which has the potential to cause harm needs to be addressed. To effectively control and prevent hazards, employers should:


Involve workers, who often have the best understanding of the conditions that create hazards and can provide insight into how to control them

• Identify and evaluate options for controlling hazards (Tip: use the hierarchy of controls to select controls that are the most feasible, effective and permanent)

• Develop and update your hazard control plan—an effective program will address the most serious hazards first

• Implement selected controls in the workplace according to the hazard control plan

• Follow up to confirm that controls are effective

Real Life Case Study

Health care workers face a number of serious safety and health hazards. For example, picture an assisted living facility experiencing high volumes of workers’ compensation claims due to the manual lifting and repositioning of patients.

Senior management began looking for more effective ways to address injuries among workers. As the facility investigated solutions, its risk improvement representative examined other sources of potential injury within the home. In doing so, it was confirmed that resident transfer and repositioning tasks presented high risks for injuries.

Leadership decided that the best approach was to involve employees at every level in reducing injuries by asking them to examine the tasks of moving and repositioning residents. Employees concluded that they lacked consistency and consensus on the proper body mechanics to lift and transfer residents—which pointed to gaps in the training they received.

With recommendations from employees, the company implemented a new training program. With advice from the company’s risk improvement representative, several portable mechanical lifts were also purchased to assist in sit-to-stand lifts and reduce total lifts among staff. The company reassesses its training program and equipment annually, ensuring that the controls in place are effective in reducing claims.

Undeniable ROI

The return on investment (ROI) of workplace safety programs is undeniable. Employers who commit to creating programs that engage employees across all levels of the organization, conduct regular safety audits, actively work to prevent and control hazards and provide ongoing safety training will see drastic differences.

Find More Online

Visit EMC’s website to finish reading about how you can reduce risks with a safety program. You’ll find downloadable safety program templates to other free loss control resources you can use to level up your safety program.

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Utah Competitiveness Redbook 2023

The Utah Manufacturers Association is pleased to provide the 2023 Competitiveness Redbook for the state of Utah.

The Competitiveness Redbook provides a snapshot of Utah’s economic health by using data-driven comparisons with other states in a variety of key indicators. Utah remains in the top 10 in multiple positive rankings, including age group by percentage, net migration, top states for business, total enrollment in higher education, national assessment of educational progress, the average retail price per KwH for commercial and residential customers, and airport on-time performance.

Utah continues to be ranked very highly in economic diversity, best states to do business, budgeting and fiscal effectiveness, and many other areas.

Overall, the 2023 Redbook offers a snapshot of Utah’s relative economic strength as the state continues to evolve and transition from a pandemic theater that created multiple economic challenges.

We encourage readers to use this book as a resource as employers, policymakers, and others work to grow and strengthen Utah’s economic engine. Manufacturing continues to be the engine that drives the

economy in Utah. We look forward to providing this data-driven Competitiveness Redbook annually as a resource for policymakers and employers.

Because What Utah Makes, Makes Utah.

How to View the Utah Competitiveness Redbook


• Scan the QR code

• Visit

About the Utah Manufacturers Association

The Utah Manufacturers Association exists to strengthen Utah manufacturers by developing and providing resources that drive prosperity.

Since 1905, UMA has advocated for a manufacturing business-friendly environment with the Utah Legislature and State Regulatory Agencies as well as the U.S. Congress and Federal Regulatory Agencies. UMA is the only affiliate in Utah of the National Association of Manufacturers.


Current Workforce Issues

To build the workforce of tomorrow, it is important to take the lessons from opportunities available today. The past three years have brought change and challenge we have not faced before, including a global pandemic, supply chain challenges, economic uncertainty, labor shortages, and more. All these elements have a lingering effect on the burnout and productivity of the existing workforce.

During the pandemic, we experienced the “great resignation” where people willingly left their jobs –averaging over three million workers every month. Reports show that nearly half of current US workers plan to look for a new job in the next six months. In the tight labor market in Utah, there is plenty of opportunity for employees to find their new job making it more important than ever to invest in developing and growing the current workforce.

To meet the staffing needs for growth we usually hire for the clearly defined hard skills – those specific skills we put on the job description defined by experience, education, certificates, etc. The missing link for success is more often the soft skills, those social skills that include such traits as communication, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and problem solving.

We all want to be successful in the work environment. One of the most effective tools to engage or re-engage employees is to provide the tools and resources needed for success. The intentional investment in the workforce provides higher levels of productivity, ignites disengaged employees, and builds a bench for future leaders.

Key drivers of employee engagement and retention are growth & development, effective communication within the organization, and feeling valued. Without opportunity for growth, high performers are more likely to seek new career options elsewhere. Providing defined career paths along with the training and development to achieve success builds trust and confidence in the leaders of your organization.

With the boomer generation retiring at dramatic rates every week, there will be a loss of skill as well as institutional knowledge and leadership impacting future success. By 2030, over 30% of the workforce will be Generation Z who may lack the experience and skills needed to meet the growing demands of your company.

Now is the time to build your bench by investing in the growth and development of todays and tomorrow’s leaders. Explore the multitude of opportunities available through your relationship with Utah Manufacturers Association, Community and Technical Colleges, Universities, and the plethora of other resources aligned to your teams’ learning needs. Explore the many short-term training opportunities available designed to develop or enhance skills and capability, providing the quickest path to success.

For more than forty years, Custom Fit has provided customized training for businesses to support workforce development and enhance Utah’s economic vitality. Explore to learn more about Custom Fit funding to help share the cost of training for your existing employees to gain the skills needed for continued growth and success of your organization.

Increase morale, increase productivity, decrease turnover, close skill gaps, and define clear career paths. It is never too early to invest in the growth and development of your employees to lead the success of your organization.


Level Up Your Company with Custom Fit Training

what we offer

We provide Utah companies with flexible, customized training for their employees, tailored to meet specific employer needs

Custom Fit will work with the company to plan the training and select a trainer that meets the company’s needs

Up to 50% of the training cost can be covered by Custom Fit for qualified companies

Support of economic and workforce development, and facilitates the retention and creation of new jobs in the state

Industry Sectors

Aerospace & Defense, Advanced Manufacturing, Computer Sciences, Financial Services, Life Sciences, Construction, Hospitality, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation, Mining & Energy, and more!

Statistics from 2021 (statewide)

Bridgerland Technical College

Sterling Petersen (435) 750-3147

Davis Technical College

Pamela Fobert (801) 593-2318

Dixie Technical College Marie Bowcut (435) 668-4358

Mountainland Technical College

Kathie Leany (801) 753-4259

Ogden-Weber Technical College

Amanda Lessard (801) 612-4162

Salt Lake Community College

Diana Guetschow (801) 957-5299

Snow College Ephraim Tim Chamberlain (435) 283-7372

Snow College Richfield

Christine Hanks (435) 893-2206

Southwest Technical College

Taylor Larson (435) 865-3926

Tooele Technical College

Donna Hesleph (435) 248-1895

Uintah Basin Technical College

Lezlee Whiting (435) 725-7109

1,894 Companies utilizing Custom Fit

20,177 Employees trained with new skills

437,006 Hours of Training

USU Eastern Price

Jessie Lobato (435) 613-5440

USU Blanding/USU Eastern Moab

Meghan McFall (435) 678-8102

Box Elder Cache Rich Weber Mo gan Davis Summit Daggett Tooele Salt Lake Utah Wasatch Duchesne Uintah Juab Milla d Sanpete Carbon Emery Grand Sevier Beaver Piute Wayne ron San Juan Kane Washington

Elevating Women and Girls in Manufacturing

Manufacturing is not the first career choice for many women and girls, primarily due to a lack of knowledge about the industry and the opportunities within it. Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing (UAMMI) has been working with several organizations to introduce exciting new opportunities in manufacturing to women and girls in Utah.

Young Girls

Our programs start by introducing young girls to manufacturing at an early age such as girls welding camps, programs with the Utah Girl Scouts and the STEM Action Center, training programs with Utah State University 4H, and My Tech High.

Davis Technical College held a welding camp for high school girls interested in exploring the art and science of metalwork through the medium of welding. The camp, held last June had 15 young women attendees who worked with Welding Technology Instructors to learn different processes, metal tolerances, and design techniques to create beautiful and useful pieces. Lincoln Electric, an industry partner, provided gloves and head wraps for each camper. ORE Designs welcomed the young women to their facility and gave them a tour. Another welding camp will be offered in 2023. These experiences allowed the campers to hear directly from employers about the many possibilities the welding industry has for women.

The Utah Girl Scouts is working with the Utah STEM Action Center to offer a Girl Scout Badge in Additive

Manufacturing. After completing a workshop with the STEM Action Center, Girl Scout troops will be able to check out a 3D printer to complete the requirements for the Additive Manufacturing patch. The first workshop is scheduled to be held in February 2023.

Additionally, the Utah STEM Action Center developed an Additive Manufacturing Mobile Curriculum, which has been in use since September 2022. Schools may check out the Additive Manufacturing Curriculum and use it for two weeks. The curriculum is aligned with a variety of middle school and upper elementary standards. Five Utah schools used the curriculum last year, with an estimated 750 students impacted. We expect 1,500 students will be exposed to the curriculum by the end of the current school year.

One of the issues with teaching manufacturing is that educators often do not know where to start. USU’s 4H Extenstion created a series of 16 Innovation Stations, or portable maker kits, that focus on an area of manufacturing and contain all of the non-consumable supplies and equipment to hold clubs and camps with a manufacturing focus. So far responses to kit use have been phenomenal. The “Innovation Station” kits can be checked out by youth mentors and other educators for local use. These kits are “maker” kits in a box. They align with the curriculum that has been developed to increase interest and accessibility for underserved populations, especially girls.


The Utah State University 4H program offers two different youth leadership training programs to prepare youth as leaders in teaching materials for manufacturing at clubs and camps in the area. This resulted in eight camps with 221 participants. USU 4H also worked with afterschool educators to implement programming to expand outreach. The Engineer Everything curriculum is available for use free of charge, both within the 4-H community and for other educators.

My Tech High, a home-schooling company with more than 10,000 students in Utah, has developed three courses to introduce students as young as five years old in kindergarten to manufacturing.

Plus, UAMMI is working with STEM and CTE faculty to teach skills in the areas of unconscious bias, micro-messaging, and gamification principles. This program, developed by Angela Trego, Ph.D., uses engaged learning principles, which faculty can immediately use upon completion of the first workshop to increase the enrollment of women and underrepresented populations. Additionally, Dr. Trego is working to increase enrollment of non-traditional participants, especially girls in STEM courses and ultimately STEM careers through training high school counselors.

One participant explained her reaction to taking the training: “This training really opened up my mind to the influence I have as a school counselor regarding the paths students choose to take educationally and occupationally. I learned the positive power of encouragement for minorities. My perspective was broadened with STEM and its influence. The training was engaging, and I had so many ‘ah ha’ moments. It really got me thinking about my occupation and everyday ways I problem solve with students.”

Career Women

For women re-entering the workforce, UAMMI has partnered with Tech-Moms, a nonprofit organization that helps women re-enter the workforce and transition into technology careers and find more successful employment. Through the part-time training program offered at Weber State University, women are provided the opportunity to build the skills, knowledge, and a professional network needed to transition into or re-enter a career in tech, especially coding. Day-care is offered while the women are in training. In 2022 ran nine cohorts in Utah and trained 153 women. Additional cohorts are planned for 2023, plus two new programs are being introduced: Ready to Work and Tech-Moms in Color. One graduate exclaimed, “Being able to participate in a program like Tech Mom’s has helped me learn so much about the tech world and will undoubtedly lead me towards the career that I want and would not have been able to get otherwise.”

The Northern Utah Women’s Networking and Career Exploration Event held the “Spark Your Career” women’s networking event. It was an open-housestyle event where women looking for a manufacturing career learned more about our CNC, Composites, Automation, Welding, and Injection Molding programs. Representatives from Davis Tech student services and financial aid departments were available to show attendees how to complete the enrollment and financial aid processes. The women who attended received vital information about the options available to them in the manufacturing fields.

Career women need mentoring to help them succeed in manufacturing. UAMMI, Catalyst Campus, and the Women Tech Council offer opportunities for women in defense engineering to learn from successful women on how they navigated their careers in manufacturing.

Through these programs, we are tapping into new talent pools for manufacturing and increasing workforce diversity.


Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing

What better way to illustrate the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) than to have the following article written by ChatGDP AI given the following prompt - write an article about the benefits of Industrial automation and artificial intelligence for Utah Manufacturers. Try out

Industrial automation and artificial intelligence (AI) have become two of the most significant technological advancements in recent years, and Utah manufacturers are well-positioned to benefit from their adoption. Industrial automation and AI can help manufacturers streamline operations, increase productivity, and reduce costs.

One of the main benefits of industrial automation and AI is increased efficiency. Automation can take over repetitive, mundane tasks that would otherwise require human intervention, freeing up workers to focus on more complex tasks that require higher levels of skill and expertise. AI can also analyze large amounts of data quickly and accurately, providing manufacturers with insights into their operations that they might not have otherwise discovered. This increased efficiency can lead to lower costs, increased productivity, and a more competitive position in the marketplace.

Another benefit of industrial automation and AI is improved safety. By automating tasks that are dangerous or repetitive, manufacturers can reduce the risk of workplace accidents and injuries. AI can also monitor equipment and predict when maintenance is needed, reducing the risk of equipment failures that can cause injuries or damage to property.

Industrial automation and AI can also help manufacturers improve the quality of their products. Automated systems can perform tasks with greater precision and accuracy than human workers, leading to fewer errors and defects. AI can also analyze data from sensors and other sources to identify patterns that might indicate quality issues, allowing manufacturers to address them before they become significant problems.

In conclusion, industrial automation and AI offer numerous benefits to Utah manufacturers. Increased efficiency, improved safety, and better-quality control are just a few advantages that can make a significant difference in manufacturing operations. As technology continues to evolve, industrial automation and AI will likely become even more critical to the manufacturing industry, and Utah manufacturers would do well to invest in these technologies to remain competitive and thrive in the future.

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Apprenticeship Programs: What Can We Learn from Germany?

Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Munich, Germany to witness, firsthand, their apprenticeship and dual education system. The Stronger Together Manufacturing Workforce Missions are organized and administered by MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network and the American Council on Germany with generous support from the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). Our task was to study the German Dual Vocational & Educational (VET) system from all angles, and to determine what lessons and findings could be brought back to strengthen our own practices and economy.

During our weeklong stay, that was packed with visits to small, medium, and very large manufacturers we were able to participate in honest discussions with Vocational Schools, Social Service Organizations, manufacturers, and community stake holders. Consistently we heard about the German pride and commitment to apprenticeships and the dual system that couples hands-on-learning with theoretical learning. Many of the students were as young as 15 and already invested in their future career in this tried and true ‘earn and learn’ model. For many students, completing an apprenticeship is just the first step in their education. Many had plans to continue to study their trade with aspirations of receiving an advanced degree.

The question, how can we take what the Germans (and Swiss) do and integrate it into the Utah

education system? ? I can say, after being a key player in standing up two youth apprenticeship programs, that it is possible and it does work. Many of the players and pieces exist, it is a matter of getting everything working together cohesively to ensure quality and success. This type of system not only reaches into the K-12 space to educate about manufacturing careers, it grows our talent pool organically with young people eager to enter the workforce.

It would be easy to oversimplify the process and make it seem easy, it is not. It takes a large commitment from the industry partner to drive the process. With the UMA Foundation as your apprenticeship intermediary, we can leverage our experience, knowledge, and contacts to partner with you to create an apprenticeship that works for your company. We’re here to help manage details including articulation, curriculum development and onboarding, recruiting, compliance, DOL registration, and much more.

Apprenticeships certainly are not a new concept, they’ve been around a long time. It is a system that works and provides our young adults with options for a high-paying career that eliminates the need to potentially take on a large amount of debt for a traditional bachelor’s degree. Much like our German counterparts, many of these apprentices may choose to continue in their education with advanced certifications or even a bachelor’s, however the difference is they can do it while working in a field they’ve chosen, earning a good salary, and hopefully taking advantage of employer sponsored education incentives.


The UMA Foundation is committed to continuing to help industry partners to implement the new Machining Apprenticeship that we are currently piloting. However, this is only the beginning. By targeting careers and industries that are in high demand like automation and composites we will continue to build apprenticeships that will ensure young talent is matched with strong partners and build success for all.


Can AI Save Our Manufacturing?

There are few events that have been more impactful on the global society than COVID-19. The spread of that disease was so world-changing that much like the birth of Jesus Christ we commonly use it as a reference for events – did that happen before or after COVID?

COVID-19 has had long-lasting effects on the manufacturing industry –

• Manufacturing position vacancies have skyrocketed from 482,000 in June of 2019 to 810,000 in December of 2022

• Vacancies have created supply chain issues which has contributed to a U.S. inflation rate of 6.5% in 2022 compared to 2.3% in 2019

• Inflation has helped drive a 10% increase in wages since 2019

• Increased wages have made it increasingly difficult to retain talent and stay competitive in the marketplace

• Inflation, supply chain issues and labor shortages are among factors contributing to ongoing fears of a looming recession

AI is everywhere - AI to unlock your phone with facial recognition, AI to protect you from banking fraud, AI to control your thermostats, manage your entertainment preferences, determine your clothing style, AI to increase your social media following. The list goes on. AI adoption is exploding.

But can AI-powered products be the solution to our manufacturing problems?

According to a poll of manufacturing executives

conducted by Forbes and Xometry – 58% of manufacturers are planning to invest in AI in 2023 to tackle the forementioned problems.

But how is AI being used in manufacturing? As an exercise, I asked the viral AI tool ChatGPT. Its response is in italics.

Hey there! As an AI language model, I have a unique vantage point on how artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the manufacturing industry. It’s amazing how AI is being used in different areas to improve the way manufacturers operate.

1. Predictive Maintenance: A manufacturer or end user of machinery could use an AI-powered predictive maintenance solution that analyzes data from machine sensors to predict when maintenance will be required. This helps them avoid unexpected downtime and reduce maintenance costs.

2. Quality Control: A manufacturer of consumer goods could utilize an AI-powered computer vision system for quality control, allowing for faster and more accurate identification of defects. These AI powered vision systems have advantages over traditional machine vision because they can inspect qualitative defects and make judgements similar to human operators.

3. Inventory Management: An electronics manufacturer could use an AI solution to optimize their inventory levels by analyzing data on demand and delivery times, reducing waste and improving efficiency.

4. Customer Service: A manufacturer of home goods could implement an AI-powered chatbot to provide quick and effective customer service, freeing up


human customer service representatives to focus on more complex issues.

5. Sales and Marketing: A fashion manufacturer could use AI to gain valuable insights into customer preferences and behavior, improving their sales and marketing efforts.

6. Product Development: AI algorithms are used to analyze product design idea to identify potential design flaws and create better products with less trial and error. AI is also used for virtual prototyping which allows for faster and more accurate product development while also reducing waste. AI can also be used to analyze customer data and create custom product designs. This allows manufacturers to create products that are more appealing to customers and can drive sales and customer loyalty.

These are just a few examples of how manufacturers can benefit from AI. It’s important for manufacturers to choose AI solutions that fit their specific needs and are easy to implement and use. By doing so, they can maximize the benefits of AI and stay ahead of the curve in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Impressive right? This response was generated in less than 30 seconds and probably cut the time I needed to write this article in half.

It may be dramatic to say AI is going to solve all of our problems, but one thing is clear: it can be used as a weapon against a tough labor market, rising costs and supply chain issues. If you aren’t part of the 58% of manufacturers investing in AI, you will likely fall behind in an increasingly competitive marketplace.


CONNEX Marketplace Utah

CONNEX Marketplace which had its beginnings in Utah is a platform that revolutionizes the way manufacturers and suppliers connect and contract with each other. The platform is exclusively for U.S. manufacturers and suppliers, providing a comprehensive and accurate database of potential partners.

With CONNEX Marketplace Utah, suppliers can easily find contract opportunities that fit their business. The platform directly connects suppliers with buyers, allowing them to receive Request for Proposal (RFP), Request for Quotation (RFQ), and Request for Information (RFI) without going through brokers or bid-board listings. This makes finding ideal contracts with less effort a reality.

In addition, CONNEX Marketplace Utah provides a comprehensive platform to showcase all of a supplier’s capabilities, certifications, SBA-designations, equipment and more. This enables suppliers to effectively promote their business to a large pool of buyers, increasing the chances of being discovered by new customers.

In January, Hill Airforce Base posted 13 new Requests for Proposal (RFPs), and within the first week, 15 businesses responded. The platform allowed the base to connect directly with suppliers who could provide the specialized parts (hard to serve aging war platforms) and materials they needed, and streamline the contract process.

The platform’s search functionality makes it easy to find alternate sourcing for parts and materials, and also provides an opportunity to discover new contract opportunities within new industries. With the ability to filter suppliers based on various criteria such as location, certifications, materials, and equipment, suppliers can be assured of finding a qualified partner that matches their specific needs.

CONNEX Marketplace Utah also provides supply chain risk visualization, alerting suppliers to potential risks in their supply chain. The platform’s direct communication system between suppliers and buyers means that they can communicate with potential partners directly, streamlining the contract process.

Finally, CONNEX Marketplace Utah values the privacy of its users and guarantees that supplier data is never sold or shared. This gives suppliers the confidence to use the platform without the fear of their information being misused.

In conclusion, CONNEX Marketplace Utah is a game-changer for manufacturers and suppliers in the U.S. It provides a comprehensive platform for finding and connecting with potential partners, streamlining the contract process and increasing the chances of discovering new business opportunities.

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