The intelligent management of human capital in Manufacturing is key to Mexico's international competitiveness

The intelligent management of human capital in Manufacturing is key to Mexico's international competitiveness

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As a result of the changes and demands in the work structure caused by the pandemic, the manufacturing industry, which generates around 4 million jobs in the country, presents new challenges for the areas of human capital management. The new scenarios pose a need to generate an intelligent work structure that guarantees the well-being of the workforce and addresses new trends in the sector.

According to a study carried out by the World Economic Forum, from the pandemic, the main initiatives carried out in the manufacturing sector were aimed at providing support to the workforce, being the mandatory use of face masks, accompaniment in emotional well-being and restrictions contact in the workplace, the main actions carried out. Addressing these priorities requires a significant boost in technology adoption, as it allows for agile management of the workforce in real time.

In this sense, new challenges arise for the human resources areas, such as having an intelligent work structure that allows a distribution of shifts that promotes a lower concentration of workers in the same space. "This is achieved with a complete and controlled vision of the workforce through technological tools based on artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things," said Maricarmen Ballesteros, director of Human Experience Management at SAP Mexico. 

The importance of mental health in the “new normal” of manufacturing

In the reopening process, the mental health of workers will be another central issue for most organizations. Employees not only face a scenario of economic uncertainty and fear of contagion, but also stress levels due to confinement measures that have led to an increase in depression and anxiety. This means that, to resume activities, it is necessary to generate a psychosocial support strategy that considers constant and open communication between collaborators, in order to act accordingly immediately. A Gartner study identifies that in the wake of the pandemic, employers will expand their involvement in the lives of their staff to provide a more humane approach to their relationships.

New challenges and opportunities for Mexico in the global context

Another key issue for the reactivation of manufacturing organizations is the new trade agreement T-MEC, and in particular, its labor chapter. This section of the new international treaty includes provisions specifically designed to prevent Mexico from seeking to compete for manufacturing investments with the strategy of offering a lax work environment, and that address union issues and collective bargaining mechanisms.

The incorporation of trilateral “observers” to assess compliance with these provisions will represent a short-term challenge for Mexican companies, but also a huge window of opportunity in a global environment that tends towards the integration of inclusive supply chains. For companies to be able to comply with these new regulations and join trilateral value chains, it is vital to have consolidated access to the entire workforce that allows information to be shared quickly. "Migrating human resources systems to a cloud system allows speeding up times and reducing costs, since it allows integrating the entire workforce, as well as internal, external and unionized collaborators," said Ballesteros.

In the international context marked by the reordering of supply chains, Mexico is in a privileged situation, according to World Finance, as it is one of the five countries best positioned to become one of the largest manufacturing centers in the world. To a large extent, these challenges and opportunities require smart workforce management, leveraging the momentum of digital acceleration, to encompass HR processes and, in turn, enabling the country to position itself in the global market .

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