The 4th industrial revolution is upon us: factories filled with robots that can communicate with each other – and learn for themselves. To lay the groundwork for these smart factories, specialists in Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) are in high demand. Michael Page can offer them the most challenging projects with the biggest companies.

Just as steam power was the driver behind the first industrial revolution, electricity the second and computers the third, the internet of things will be responsible for the fourth. It is the enabler that will allow manufacturers to connect all machines, products and services to one central wireless network. Machines will communicate, for example, their status and which parts need to be replaced. Products will share information, for example about the required colour or size.

To lay the groundwork for these ´smart factories´ manufacturers are investing heavily in new software that is used to monitor and operate production processes. “The requirements of a MES will be completely different for a smart factory”, explains Vincenzo Carrabs, Engineering & Manufacturing division manager for Michael Page Brussels. “Smart factories are equipped with self-learning machines and robotics, all of which requires different ways of working.”

High demand for candidates

The benefits of smart factories are almost impossible to overestimate – not only will they speed up production process and reduce costs, they also allow for the production of personalised items for individual consumers.

It is therefore no surprise that there is high demand for candidates who know how to implement MES software. “We get a lot of request from our clients to find MES specialists. Only recently, we placed a global MES Project Director”, says Vincenzo Carrabs. “These positions require a lot more than just the technical skills. A big part of the job is change management. So social skills and people management skills are essential, in order to get everybody on the same page.”

Specialists in short supply

However, good candidates for these highly specialised positions are in short supply. Even large corporations struggle to find the right candidate, which is why many companies decide to collaborate with Michael Page. “We invest in long term relationships with candidates, so we are not only in contact with those who are actively looking for a job; if we have an interesting offer for a new position we will also contact other potential candidates,” explains Wim Schryvers, Manager of the Engineering & Manufacturing division in Antwerp.

The question is why someone who already has a good position and salary would consider changing companies. “The most important reason is the content of the jobs we offer,” explains Wim Schryvers. “These are candidates, usually with an engineering or technical background, who liked to be challenged. Because we work with for the biggest companies in the world we can offer them the most interesting projects.”

Tailor made service

“We offer our candidates a tailor made service,” adds Vincenzo Carrabs. “We can help them with finding a new position, and with developing their career. If they know which direction they would like to go, we can make sure they´ll get there. Another big advantage is that we work on an international level, so we can literally help candidates to take their career anywhere they like.”

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