by Hayley Jarick
Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Manufacturers should be rubbing their hands together at the opportunities are ripe for the taking in the manufacturing sector. For years manufacturers have warned of the dangers of keeping low inventories, rationalising supply to solitary overseas manufacturers and the prospect of domestic capability extinction. Procurers have gambled on the stability of international health, overseas regulation, environmental resilience, and international shipping capacity – and they are losing.
Manufacturing has also relied on a linear economy for too long. The rise of the circular economy provides stability for resources without adverse consequences from straining environmental and human resources beyond sustainable levels.
Staff retention is going to be key to success for all businesses over the next couple of years. But how do you compete on flexibility when you aren’t working from a desk in an office? Digital advancements and automation will be key to skill retention and remote working in manufacturing. And how do you increase staff loyalty? Give them more than money. Alignment to values, purpose and culture will give your staff more joy than cash. Be transparent and take action on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Get your environmental, social, and governance (ESG) in order if you want to access capital, equity and market share. Deliver on net-zero or carbon-neutral goals, and if you are already there set regenerative goals. Take action on modern slavery and I don’t mean spending more money on glossing up your annual statement. You will get more respect and credibility if you admit your faults and show you’re addressing them than if you try to justify or cover up your failings.
Most people think about sustainability incorrectly. Sustainability is the ability to maintain healthy environmental, social and economic systems in balance, indefinitely, on a global and local scale. It’s meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is not only for tree-hugging greenies. It is not left or right-wing. It is not anti-profit. It is smart. It is stable. It is enduring.