Solutions for the engineer shortage

Genius ERP: ready out-of-the-box for custom manufacturing.

A recent post in OpsPro Essential from Aberdeen Group discussed the fact that complex manufacturers – such as equipment and machinery manufacturers – were severely hurt by the shortage of engineers in the hiring market. They mention that engineering job postings stay open more than twice a long as any other employment field. Because of this shortage, salary offers for fresh graduates will be around $80,000 (hmmm, this is almost twice the amount I made 15 years ago). 

As a result of this shortage in engineering, manufacturers need to find a way to increase the knowledge and efficiency of the engineers they already have on their payroll. And as the complexity of these products increases, manufacturers have added pressure to make these high skill resources more effective.

The question is, how?

“How are companies going to cope with the challenge of building more complicated products using fewer engineers? The most successful companies invest in a tool that allows a single engineer to amplify their speed and skill — namely, product simulation.”

Complex Manufacturers, such as equipment manufacturers, can provide a partial solution to the engineering resource shortage with product simulation and the use of a product configurator in order to help the estimating and internal sales teams be less dependent on senior engineers. At times, senior engineers are too involved in the sales process, taking them away from their responsibilities as engineers. Tools such as a web portal, which allows a customer to create their own list of requirements, helps reduce the time engineers spend at estimation allowing engineers to concentrate on high value tasks. Just as a heart surgeon needs only to be involved in the operation, an engineer should only be involved when required, thus allowing the pre-ops process to be managed by their team and tools. Another option for manufacturers would be to implement tools that help the engineer focus on designing future products or projects, such as a link between CAD software and the enterprise resource management (ERP) software. This illustrates a way to keep your engineering department designing rather than managing supply chain transactions in the ERP. The link between the CAD software and your ERP needs to contain all the product assembly details in order to more efficiently manage pricing, scheduling, and/or supply chain operations.

When I read the article published by Aberdeen Group, I immediately began to think of how we at Genius Solutions have tackled the issue of engineer shortage. Our team is largely made up of engineers, and our ERP solution is conceptualized and designed with engineers working in custom/complex manufacturing companies in mind. As such, we have incorporated tools into our system, such as the Genius Engineering-to-Manufacturing (ETM) and the Genius Product Configurator, that are created and designed by engineers with the hopes of raising efficiency and solving the engineer shortage currently facing the market.

Nicholas Morin

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