2011 Mid-Year Report: Grading on the Curve

As 2011 hit the halfway mark, manufacturing leaders saw improvement—and room for improvement.

Bob Vavra, Content Manager

08/15/2011

The most important thing to know about driving around a curve is that you need to keep looking ahead, because you can’t always see what is coming around the corner.

But when asked to grade 2011 so far, more than half of Plant Engineering’s readers gave 2011 a grade of ‘B’ or ‘C’. In 2009, just 38% of Plant Engineering’s readers in our annual Salary Survey through the recession had ended; in the 2010 Salary Survey, that had risen to 55%. In our exclusive Mid-Year Report poll, 65% graded the year so far at least average, and 40% said it was above average or better.

With this in mind, we asked a number of industry experts in all areas of manufacturing, from the plant floor to the association level to the supplier community, to offer their views on manufacturing’s successes and challenges in 2011 and beyond. Our panel included:

Manufacturing leaders interviewed by Plant Engineering for our 2011 Mid-Year Report generally see that the economic uncertainties of 2009 and 2010 are in the rear-view mirror. That does not mean there aren’t still challenges ahead—there is still overall economic stagnation in many markets and some lingering inefficiencies that are just now being addressed. The lack of skilled workers and the rising cost of energy in the past six months have slowed some growth, and national and global uncertainty—both economic and political—continue to be a factor.


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