Alpha Software Blog

How Intelligent Apps Can Aid Trailer Manufacturers

Amid supply shortages and increasing regulation, trailer manufacturers facing a continuing struggle: a global shortage of welders.

trailer weldingAccording to the American Welding Society, the welding industry will face a shortage of about 400,000 welders by 2024. Many trailer manufacturers rely heavily on welders, so the need is exceptionally high and jobs are competitive in this market.

At the same time, the average age of welders in the U.S. is 55. With many welders soon reaching retirement age, additional job opens will only compound the problem.

Trailer Manufacturers Struggle to Find and Hire Welders

A recent Reuters article profiled one trailer manufacturer suffering from a shortage of welders. Matt Arnold, President of Look Trailers explained that the shortage of welders has hurt his inventory and, consequently, sales. Despite the openings and higher pay, he’s finding it very difficult to hire workers. Reuters reported:

“’We hired two from the ads,’ said Arnold, just a fraction of the 125 he needs to get back to full strength of 673 workers. Half the welding jobs at his Texas plant are open, for instance, creating a bottleneck in an operation that builds trailers on metal frames.

Streamlining Work is Critical

shortage of weldersTrailer manufacturers must find ways to eliminate or streamline routine or unnecessary work, especially in the case of paperwork. The time wasted searching for, or re-creating lost paperwork has been well-documented.

Companies can save all employees - down to welders - significant time so they can devote their day to high-value work.  Intelligent apps that capture data automatically, simplify data collection or trigger alerts can make a dramatic impact.

By saving workers time, including welders, companies:

1) respect the talent and value of their workers

2) facilitate the completion of more work each day with the staff they already have.

Mobile devices can now be used where paper forms or checklists were once employed. With a mobile app, more information is captured quickly, such as auto-location or auto-time stamping, material or tool bar codes, and more. Companies can do inspections, inventory ordering, and more in far less time.

The Benefits of Intelligent Apps

welder phoneMost employees use apps on their smartphones every day, to access news and weather, complete financial transactions and connect with friends and family. The barrier to technology is now lowered on the manufacturing floor. Employees can use the phones they already carry, or company tablets that work like their phones, to complete safety checks, inspections, and more.

Intelligent apps can:

  • capture the best practices of more experienced workers to guide less skilled workers
  • integrate with systems of record to trigger workflows or alert a welder to a new job or inspection
  • lower risk by collecting accurate production and assembly data quickly -- eliminating data-entry mistakes, speeding access to critical data, and recording critical data for regulatory compliance.

Intelligent Apps for Trailer Manufacturing


inspection apps for weldersAlpha TransForm Manufacturing Solutions replace paper forms or manual processes with powerful mobile data collection apps and dashboards that utilize the latest mobile features (camera, time/date stamping, GPS, bar code scanning and lookup, etc.). The apps can work offline, in a remote factory, or a distribution center where WiFi or cell signals are spotty, and have built-in analytics and dashboards.


Alpha TransForm apps for trailer manufacturersYou can learn more about Alpha TransForm solutions by booking a meeting with us. In 10 minutes you'll understand how quickly we can solve some of your data collection problems while saving employees time. On the call, we'll show some free sample apps that you may even want to start using right away.  


Nothing will replace the talent of an experienced welder, but intelligent apps can help speed material ordering and inspections, and even train new welders in your organization's best practices.

Further reading: 

How one manufacturer saved $570,000 per year going digital

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.