Many of the labor-cost advantages that initially spurred companies to move their manufacturing offshore have eroded—most notably in China. Yet as companies bring manufacturing capacity back, they face a new challenge: not all local labor markets are sufficiently deep.
At a glance
- As the companies relocate production closer to home, some are facing mounting labor challenges— especially when it comes to finding people to fill key manufacturing roles
- Those shortages may lead to higher-than-expected labor costs and other ramifications that could make nearshoring less attractive.
- Robotics and automation have evolved to the point where they’ve become a cost-effective way to augment many manufacturing processes.
- Yet a more automated manufacturing environment does not eliminate the need for talent. Instead, it changes the critical skills that workers need to have.
- Companies will have to invest to develop that internal talent and gain a competitive edge.