Today's manufacturing world requires a new kind of talent. Many young professionals seeking job opportunities are less likely to pursue science, technology, engineering and math degrees. This has caused a significant skills gap between senior manufacturing employees and potential candidates.

While this skills gap may raise concerns as experts reach retirement, the good news is that the industry is now finding millennials are fully capable of taking on manufacturing careers. When combined with a professional career path, jobs within manufacturing bring out the tech-savvy strengths new hires have to offer.

The impact of computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) has shown that self-service mobile technology combined with manufacturing opens many doors to improve an organization's bottom line. In an industry that relies on maximizing equipment uptime, maintenance personnel have the potential to revolutionize operations if given the right tools. Luckily, these tools are already right in the palms of millennial hands.

1. A New Generation is Taking Charge

A number of maintenance stereotypes are going by the wayside as baby boomers retire. Today's expert "knowledge economy" includes both historical information on how to maintain equipment and the technology to support a company's bottom line with data. Organizing a maintenance knowledge base that combines the two has become a high priority.

The technology introduced in today's facilities can even archive training materials for future technicians. For established operations, this means a video or guide can be saved in the cloud and accessed with a mobile device to demonstrate exactly how to do the job while onsite.

As senior maintenance technicians retire, new hires are taken much more seriously and expected to have strong technological competencies.

2. Condition-based Maintenance Means Real-time Reactions

The ability to track the present condition of an asset was once reserved for only the largest facilities. Now the market has shifted to allow for more competitive prices on hardware advancements.

Even for the startup or small business, it's entirely possible to have the most cutting-edge technology for supporting a "smart building." Investments in the sensors that allow machines to "talk" are gaining momentum. Many buzzwords describe this phenomenon such as the industrial Internet of things and machine-to-machine data.

A thorough understanding of your equipment can lead to maximum uptime, as your facility runs at full speed and personnel can easily detect any issue. When everyone has a mobile device and access to a system that connects machines to staff in real-time, there are minimal surprises and well-defined workflows for handling anything that could come your team's way.

These systems result in more insightful decision-making by maintenance staff. Workers with the right ambition and initiative can access the data needed to do their jobs even better.

3. Connecting through the Cloud

Maintenance personnel are using mobile technology to make their jobs more efficient. This isn't just a manufacturing trend; it's happening to jobs across the nation.

The difficulty for this profession is that maintenance technicians aren't historically known as a tech-savvy workforce. Until very recently, maintenance departments were considered a cost center that had to take an "if it's not broken, don't fix it" approach. The impact of using data for conducting maintenance has changed how these departments operate.

In the past, an investment in a solution to better organize work orders wasn't highly considered. Now, these solutions not only handle work orders but also predictive plotting and custom visualizations. Because it's common for maintenance technicians to understand mobile nuances, organizations can reap the benefits from collecting and structuring asset data to be readily available.

Moving Forward

CMMS is one type of maintenance solution that has received attention from small to midsized operations due to mobile features such as work-order tracking and fleet management. Of course, maintenance software is typically slow to catch on until standards are set in place. Since mobile and cloud technologies have become mainstream, adoption is now happening faster than ever.

About the Author

Julia Scavicchio is an editor for, which has a team of experts providing reviews, resource guides and insights on the latest news and trends in the world of CMMS, business intelligence and human resources.