"To clearly understand the breadth of the generational divide that exists in manufacturing today, consider the evolution of the auto body draftsman," writes Jeff Nedwick, Infor Automotive industry solution & strategy director, in an Automation.com article headlined "Bridging the Generational Divide in Manufacturing."
"The auto body draftsman role was an exceedingly elite, high-skilled profession requiring extensive spatial skills. Careers were made or broken based on how well one was able to accurately represent a three-dimensional design idea as a two-dimensional drawing that would in turn be used to create a three-dimensional part. That was then.
"Fast forward to today, and all of this hard-won knowledge is now a simple mouse click. Automotive draftsmen now design automotive body panels three-dimensionally using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software, where numerical control tool paths are automatically generated to design the dies that will manufacture the parts. …
"Like the difference between the paper-based draftsman and the CAD-based auto designer, the Baby Boomers and Millennials have each learned very different ways to complete the same tasks across manufacturing.
"When organizations think about how to close the generational divide, … an automotive manufacturer's own technology-like an ERP system-isn't likely on top of the list. However, there is a unique opportunity to use ERP solutions to help bring generations together in the workplace and foster productivity, efficiency and innovation."