Critical Matters: Yes Elon, Manufacturing is hard.
It was a normal day at the office for Vice President of Operations, Darin Mauzy. Darin got his cup of coffee and turned on the “Joe Rogan Experience Podcast”, which typically plays in the background while he catches up on some morning emails. This week’s episode featured an infamous guest and arguably the most interesting man in the world, Elon Musk.
What started out as background noise for Darin, turned into a morning of thought and reflection after hearing what Elon had to say about manufacturing. Within the first five minutes of the podcast, Elon was asked how much longer consumers have to wait for their Cybertruck.
Elon states, “The hard part by far is manufacturing, not designing the car. There are no movies about manufacturing, but there should be.”
Take a moment and reflect on that. Elon Musk has a networth of nearly $230 billion, according to Forbes. He owns companies like Tesla, SpaceX, X (formally Twitter), Neuralink, and Xai. Musk has even hinted about the possibility of running for president. Whether you like him or not, Musk knows how to do business. Here, we have one of the most successful businessmen in history and he is just now realizing how complex manufacturing can be. Building something on a production level and making it repeatable over time is one of, if not the hardest thing to do.
If you think about the second part of Elons quote; there is a reason filmmakers don’t make movies about manufacturing. It’s not glamorous and it’s not an industry Hollywood knows much about. Furthermore, it’s not an industry that the general public knows much about either.
Unless you work in a manufacturing facility, it’s likely that you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors and how a typical manufacturing facility operates. Most people see the end product, but don’t think twice about the steps, and the people, required to create it.
This hits close to home when you are a subcontracting facility, like MCS. We don’t have any products with our name on them and the hard part (manufacturing) is our responsibility. Subcontracting facilities don’t always get the credit, but that’s not what we are looking for. We work in manufacturing because we love the process of building america.
We find this podcast episode interesting because there are some days that seem like nothing is going our way. Mistakes happen. Shipments might need to be expidited. Trucks might be late. Supply chain issues could happen, or equipment issues could come up unexpectedly. Those things are out of the manufacturers’ control, but many times the manufacturing facility gets the blame. On days like that, it’s easy to question why things might not be going our way. However, it’s also important to remember that manufacturing is hard. We take pride in doing the “dirty work” and we know people outside our shop might not understand it.
If manufacturing is so hard; why do so many people work in the manufacturing sector? At the basic level, there is ample opportunity to work and it will never go away. Ask ChatGPT to build something; it’s not going to happen. Generative AI tools might tell you how to do it; but nothing will replace the hands-on labor of actually building. If you dig deeper into why manufacturing is so popular, one of the most important reasons is the multiplier effect that manufacturing jobs create in the community. When it comes to job multipliers, on average, the addition of one job will result in the creation of at least nine total jobs in the national economy. Manufacturing ranks third in job multipliers by sector. Although some might understand the importance of manufacturing, they are unaware of how difficult the process of manufacturing really is.
At Mission Critical Solutions, we strive to produce industry-leading quality, exceptional innovation, and pride in what we do every day. We work tirelessly to ensure that we mitigate as many manufacturing issues as we can to guarantee each product is everything our clients ask and more. Although some issues may come up, we are always transparent with our partners and do everything we can to make sure those issues get straightened out.
A podcast episode that started as background noise was a subtle reminder to our team that we should be proud of what we do—it’s not easy and it’s extremely important to the economy. This is also a tip-of-the-cap to other manufacturing facilities that strive to help build America. We are all in this together.