Contemporary Energy Solutions

5 Challenges Manufacturers Face in 2022


The last decade has brought about many challenges for US manufacturing, and 2022 will get even more difficult. In this rapidly changing climate, companies must adapt or fall behind by more limber competitors both here and overseas. Here are the five challenges facing modern manufacturers in the coming year1:

1.) Skilled labor gap

Recent studies1 show, by year the 2028, there will be an estimated 4.6 million unoccupied positions in manufacturing. Of those, only 2.2 million jobs are likely to be filled. Originally, baby boomer retirement topped the list for talent shortages. Today, most manufacturers believe the No. 1 reason they’re experiencing talent shortages is a direct result of the introduction of advanced technology and automation.

Today’s modern manufacturing is becoming more sophisticated. Advanced robotics, AI, analytics, automation, the Internet of Things, and machine learning are creating a demand for a broader skillset. Those with communication skills, STEM skills, analytical skills, and critical thinking will complement what was once the hands-on production environment.

2.) Smart manufacturing

Manufacturers must embrace the digital transformation if they want to see future growth. Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) solves many challenges for today’s manufacturers: improved productivity and efficiency, cost control, and improved customer experience. Figure 2 outlines how IoT can reduce costs and optimize productivity in the workplace. IoT connects people, processes, data, and things, giving manufacturers real-time insight on analytics and predictive maintenance.

IoT ecosystem benefits
Figure 2: Benefits of an IoT ecosystem3

3.) Customer self-service application

Designing a self-service computer application is also crucial for the manufacturer’s success in 2022. This portal provides clients, partners, and subcontractors a platform to access information and perform tasks promptly without needing to pick up the phone.

4.) Project management

Project managers lead complex work and solve difficult problems almost daily. In this COVID era, project managers will need to rely on an increasing number of tools to meet their unique business needs. From billing and time tracking to customer behavior intelligence and virtual conferencing, these tools will help project managers work smarter and move faster.

5.) Need for supply chain visibility

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic don’t change the importance of supply chain visibility; it has and always will be vital. Ninety percent of supply chain firms agree that visibility is crucial for success. Saving time and resources are just two advantages to adapting supply chain technology and visibility.1

US manufacturers must start to think more strategically to have a chance in the global marketplace. They need to cut overhead costs to remain competitive while focusing on branding to keep their customers engaged and actively trying to recruit skilled labor.

Start simple and start now.

Energy costs are some of the easiest to reduce, which is why we recommend manufacturers start there. Ask us for a free consultation today to get started.


  1. (2018). 2018 Deloitte skills gap and future of work in manufacturing study.
  2. Industrial Internet of things | HCL Technologies. (2021). HCL Technologies. Retrieved November 11, 2021, from
  3. Sharma, R. (2021, October 26). Supply Chain Technology Trends To Watch in 2022 – DataDrivenInvestor. Medium. Retrieved November 11, 2021, from
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