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How Have Manufacturing Businesses Fared Through COVID?

By Snap Agency February 23, 2021

We’ve all had to shake up our work ethic and get a little creative during the COVID-19 pandemic, and manufacturing during COVID is no different.


What exactly is the impact of COVID-19 on the global manufacturing sector, you ask? There’s no one answer—we’ve seen some good, some bad, but in our eyes, plenty of silver lining to help manufacturers pull through. Allow us to explain.

Employees Are Facing Layoffs and Reduced Hours

Manufacturers, just like many other businesses across the board, have had to cut costs wherever possible. According to Forbes, 30% of manufacturers had already laid off or furloughed their employees during the height of lockdown (i.e., mid-2020). Compare that to less than 10% for other white and blue-collar manual service employers. In fact, one of Snap’s own clients had to lay off a shift of workers to meet the latest budget expectations.


In addition to layoffs and furloughs, manufacturing companies have seen a rise in hiring freezes, reduced hours, and extended waiting periods between pay raises and promotions.

On the Bright Side, Some Manufacturers Are Back to Work

Laying off manufacturers? So 2020, if you ask us. For manufacturing businesses to stay afloat, continuing to reduce hours and not hiring new workers simply isn’t sustainable. That’s not to say that workers are immediately rehired; many companies plan to bring manufacturers back to work in small shifts, rolling out over the next 12-18 months. The hope is that this slow-and-steady rehiring process will coincide with the vaccine rollout and when those vaccines become available to manufacturers.

More Manufacturers are Working from Home

We know what you’re thinking: Isn’t manufacturing more of a hands-on job? How can employees work from home instead of on the production line? Well, this is 2021, and working from home has become far more possible thanks to innovations in technology.


For example, process, control, and manufacturing engineers (or, to coin a phrase from Design News, “those who are not actually putting nuts on bolts” are at home doing design engineering. For one, Amazon currently offers remote work in executive operations, quality assurance, and the development of artificial intelligence. Simultaneously, many workers have embraced a hybrid model, returning to the office when hands-on testing and tooling are necessary and staying home when it’s not. Of course, technologies like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have made it easier for manufacturers worldwide to collaborate and troubleshoot. It’s safe to say that, for those who wish to do so, remote manufacturing during COVID is within the realm of possibility.

PPE and Medical Device Manufacturing Businesses Are Booming

Okay, this one definitely qualifies as a silver lining. With the shortages in N-95 masks, isolation gowns, gloves, and air-purifying respirators, many manufacturers partner with local and state health departments and put in the overtime to develop the PPE we need. And the incentive is certainly there—for example, the governor of South Carolina wants to offer a tax credit to companies that manufacture PPE in the United States. That, combined with a substantial overtime bonus, is a sure recipe for churning out PPE fast.


Medical device manufacturers have been just as busy as PPE manufacturers. The FDA has taken action to ensure that the manufacturing of ventilators, respirators, and other medical devices continues to assist healthcare providers and patients alike. It’s Supply & Demand 101.

Manufacturers Are Revitalizing Their Online Presence

Whatever it is your company manufacturers, you have an audience at the other end of that transaction—uncertain customers who want to stay in the know. Thanks to social media, company blog posts, and other digital marketing channels, manufacturers are more equipped to do this in 2021 than they were in years past.


Whether your manufacturing business wants to share digital newsletters, utilize a COVID-specific keyword strategy, or swap its B2B trade show budget for a marketing one, now is the time to refine your digital space. If you’ve been putting off your digital marketing plan for years, now’s the time for an overhaul. If not during a global pandemic, when?

COVID-19 Threw Us All for a Loop. Now It’s Time to Revive Your Digital Marketing Strategy.

In many cases, COVID-19 negatively impacted the global manufacturing sector. As we mentioned previously, there are still plenty of hopeful prospects to keep manufacturers afloat and even help them flourish.


One of those prospects is hopping on the bandwagon and boosting your digital marketing strategy. Whether you want to streamline your social media presence or remind customers about all the wonderful products you develop, there’s a marketing plan out there for you. Come chat with us about SEO, PPC, social media, and other innovative tactics manufacturers can use to boost leads today.