There are predictions that if changes aren't made, up to 30 per cent of New Zealand's manufacturing businesses could permanently shut their doors.
It comes as hundreds of jobs are to go at manufacturing sites around the country with James Hardie today confirming it'll close its Auckland plant.
This closure will lead to the loss of 120 jobs by the end of the year and it isn't the only company facing tough decisions.
New Zealand steel is restructuring its Pipe and Hollows plant, with the potential loss of 60 jobs.
The Manufacturing Recovery Group says one solution is for more businesses to go digital.
“We need to make sure the production methods we use in New Zealand are state of the art and capable of competing with other countries,” Brett O'Riley of the Manufacturing Recovery Group says.
That doesn't necessarily mean robots taking over.
“By using more technology we can increase output and increase the number of shifts for workers,” Mr O’Riley says.