Recently Leading Edge Alliance polled manufacturers across the nation for the 2019 National Manufacturing Outlook and Insights survey. Every year we see different results, but 2019 shows a focus on growth. The top three priorities for 2019 are growing sales, improving profitability and addressing workforce shortage.
More than eighty percent of businesses expect revenue to increase in 2019. Half of the manufacturers surveyed said that organic growth in domestic markets is the primary opportunity for sales to grow. More than twenty percent of companies expect to buy another manufacturing business this year. Additionally, some of these companies view a new product or service as the primary opportunity for growth. The three main barriers to this goal are a lack of labor and talent, competition, and the uncertain profitability in expanding sales.
This priority was ranked as a top priority by more than half of those surveyed, and manufacturers are split on the best ways to achieve this. The top two ways companies intend to improve profitability is increased spending in marketing and advertising or increase spending on technology. Manufacturers feel that improving their technology will increase productivity and efficiency, reduce operating costs, and enhance the quality of product.
Addressing Workforce Shortage
Sixty-two percent of businesses expect to increase hiring, while only four percent expect a decrease. Half of those surveyed said that increase wages and training are their top priorities in addressing the workforce shortage. An overwhelming amount of respondents said that they expect to increase spending on employee wages and thirty-eight percent are going to focus on apprenticeship and training programs to help boost the workforce.
Lane Gorman Trubitt participates in the survey every year, providing our clients with an opportunity to get their voice heard in this national conversation. The annual survey provides insights that allow manufacturers and those who work with them, like us, to best prepare for their needs and expectations. If you would like to see the full report, please click this link.
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