Top 3 Findings: 2022 State of Mass Production Report

Alisha Gallagher

“No one could have guessed just how the COVID-19 pandemic would affect mass production in manufacturing.”

Sound familiar? It does to modern manufacturing leaders that have been navigating the constant changes over the last two years. In some ways, these challenges are familiar because the ripple effects of supply chain disruptions mimic the assembly of complex products: just when we think we’ve fixed a problem, another component breaks. And, like the assembly line, just because we find and fix a supply chain problem doesn’t mean there won’t be downstream impacts later.

Unsurprisingly, then, supply chain disruptions are also a major focus for hundreds of engineering and operations professionals, as revealed in our brand-new 2022 State of Mass Production report.

Our 2022 State of Mass Production report reveals the top concerns on the minds of manufacturing managers and leaders in electronics manufacturing, how they’re spending their time on the job and just how they want to work with their NPI counterparts while we grapple with constant changes. Over 300 individuals in engineering and operations for electronics manufacturing responded, giving us a 360° view of industry concerns and opportunities for change.

For this report, we also went one level deeper to curate analysis and advice to help you navigate unpredictability on your own builds and teams.

You can read the full report here, and check out the information below, which features a few highlights.

Consumer electronics brands care more about travel to the factory than supply chain disruptions

Consumer electronics brands rank supply chain concerns lower than their industrial counterparts. While industrial electronics brands cite “adapting to supply chain disruptions” as their top concern (41%), consumer electronics brands are most worried about their reduced ability to travel to the factory floor (also 41%). Adapting to supply chain disruptions comes in third in consumer manufacturing, at 34%, behind “ability to meet cost reduction goals” (36%).

Many possibilities could explain the reasons behind the difference, but one fact remains: electronics brands are collectively concerned about the supply chain affecting their programs. This means assessing the risk and building in risk is a major focus this year — and Dr. Joan Cullinane, Vice President of Supply Chain Operations at Oracle and recent guest on our Change Notice podcast, has advice for building resilience in your supply chain: invest in relationships.

Employee satisfaction suffers when a company’s data maturity is weak

We asked engineering and operations teams if they were satisfied with their companies’ data structure. The answer was a resounding “no.” In fact, we found that the more these teams engaged with data, the less satisfied they were.

Over 80% of those who are unsatisfied with their company’s data structure rely on manual reports, whereas less than half of those who are satisfied compile manual reports. These teams are simply more satisfied with companies that have a strong data infrastructure. When employee retention matters more than ever, strong data structure could make all the difference.

The age-old tension between MP and NPI teams actually makes sense

The survey results showed that 61% of MP teams want NPI to identify and fix issues early in a build to facilitate a smoother ramp to MP. It’s a familiar blame game: “We wouldn’t have these problems if you hadn’t fixed it first!”

But when we take a step back, it makes sense for NPI and MP teams to experience tension. They’re motivated by fundamentally different goals. NPI teams are motivated by a creative opportunity to build a new product, and MP teams are motivated by meeting deadlines and yield targets. Each team has a role to play, and understanding the motivations of each can unlock the collaboration needed for a successful product launch.

To access the full report on the State of Mass Production in 2022, click here.

Curious about the State of NPI? Read about the findings.

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