Executive survey: Manufacturing likely to lag when economy improves

Nearly 60 percent of manufacturing executives believe the economy will improve over the next six months, though they are slightly less optimistic about the prospects for the manufacturing sector.

08/06/2009


Nearly 60 percent of manufacturing executives believe the economy will improve over the next six months, though they are slightly less optimistic about the prospects for the manufacturing sector.

Crystal ball

Those were among the key findings of a recent survey conducted KRC Research on behalf of the Baker Tilly accounting firm.The survey consisted of telephone interviews of 300 senior executives at small, medium, and large manufacturing companies during the month of June.

Cautious optimism was the prevailing sentiment when executives were asked for their opinions on the global economy, with 57 percent saying they expected improving conditions over the next six months.

Ironically, however, only 51 percent said they expect the sector in which they work-manufacturing-to improve over that time frame.

Nearly half the executives surveyed (49 percent) said they expect their own companies to suffer declines in business over the next 6 months, with 12 percent saying they felt their companies were in danger of failing.

These sentiments were most pronounced among executives at small companies (fewer than 100 employees), with 12 percent of that group fearing their companies were in imminent danger of failure.

Only 2 percent of executives at medium size companies fear immediate business failure, while 3 percent of large company executives have that fear.

Considering their feelings on the state of manufacturing, it's not surprising that 70 percent of executives said they plan to hold the line of staffing levels over the next year.

A majority of executives also plan to reduce costs of the next 12 months, with operational costs (80 percent), supplier costs (65 percent), and labor cost (51 percent) cited as the primary targets.

When it comes to making investments to boost business performance, 51 percent of executives said they are willing to spend on quality improvement systems.

In addition to their views on the economy and business in general, researcher asked for the executives' view on federal government's proposal to combat global warning through cap-and-trade legislation.

Sentiment was mixed, with 59 percent opposed to such legislation. That opposition was more strident among executives who said they were familiar with the legislation. Meanwhile, executives with a more positive outlook on the economy and the future of manufacturing were more likely to support a cap-and-trade program.





The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me