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Getting Back to Sort-Of Normal

With vaccinations on the rise, the in-person collaboration that is still essential to doing business, including trade shows, is growing. But challenges to recovery from the pandemic remain. Global supply chains are struggling with multiple disruptions. Shipping rates are historically high. Computer chip shortages are curbing output.

Driving a New Normal

2020 was certainly an unusual year—for SME, for our industry, and for the world. There is no question that these unusual times will carry over into 2021. Unusual does not necessarily mean bad; it just means different. Often hidden within those differences are opportunities.

Use the Swiss Cheese Model to Fight COVID-19

In 2020, most manufacturers focused on mitigating the impact of COVID-19, but mitigation is too little too late. Many companies learned that lesson after seeing how COVID-19 outbreaks affected either their own facilities or other manufacturing firms.

Where is Manufacturing Tech Headed in 2021?

Manufacturing technology is constantly changing, both in terms of the types of products produced and the ways those products are made. As we ease into 2021, here are some interesting trends I’ve heard about.

Workforce Development for Global Competitiveness

A widening skills gap threatens U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and consequently our economy. A talent pipeline with a sufficient supply of properly aligned skills is imperative to meet U.S. manufacturers’ needs for capacity, productivity and innovation.

When ‘Tried and True’ Won’t Do

During times like these, editors turn to “tried and true” sayings to frame their opinion columns. One of these sayings is, “May you live in interesting times,” supposedly a translation of a traditional Chinese curse. The saying is used ironically, in that “interesting times” are times of trouble and difficulty.