Can ERP Software Help Save American Manufacturing Jobs?

Much has been said about the demise of American manufacturing. There is a general sense that manufacturing jobs are being moved overseas to China, India, and other developing markets, yet from what we can tell, U.S. companies and other developed multi-nationals are still looking for ways to leverage ERP systems. In fact, a majority of our clients – most of whom are investing in some sort of new ERP software – are in the manufacturing and distribution industry or one of its many sub-verticals, so it doesn’t appear to us as though our US-based clients going out of business. So where is the disconnect?

There is truth to the fact that some manufacturing processes, supply chains and jobs are being relocated to emerging economies. Even in industries as diverse as professional services, financial services and technology, mobile workforces and business processes dispersed throughout the world is a very real trend that is showing little to no sign of changing anytime soon. Rising labor costs and an increasingly global economy are just two of the reasons why some work is being shifted overseas.

While these changes do not appear to be eliminating jobs, they do appear to be changing the nature of those jobs and are introducing additional challenges and complexities that haven’t had to be addressed until recently. For example, for each company that moves jobs from the U.S. to another part of the world, there are additional opportunities to replace these typically less-complex commodity manufacturing activities with higher-value products and services that are less likely to be handled outside developed countries such as the U.S.

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