Manufacturers optimistic about business prospects

08/31/2006


Small and medium-size manufacturers are more optimistic than other industry segments, with many owners and managers projecting revenue growth and continued hiring over the next 12 months, according to the recently released results of an International Profit Associates Small Business Research Board survey.

The IPA SBRB Manufacturing Confidence Index was established at 45 for the first IPA SBRB manufacturing industry poll. By contrast, the aggregated IPA SBRB Small Business Confidence Index for all small and medium-size businesses participating in the survey was 39.3, which represented a drop from 47.3 for the previous poll, concluded in May 2006. Similarly, the confidence of construction and contracting firms dropped to 30.7 from the 49.3 that was registered three months ago.

Nearly half of the manufacturers that responded to the poll indicated that they are forecasting improvement in the economy over the next 12 months, and 50% of them expect revenues to increase during the same period. Nearly 40% said they expect revenues to remain about the same. This compares to the universe of small businesses, of which only 42% believe the economy will improve during the next year and 46% of whom are expecting revenue growth.

Hiring among manufacturers is projected to remain healthy. During the next 12 months, only 5% said they intend to decrease the workforce. Another 45% said it will remain the same and 38% believe they will add employees.

“There is a significant variance in the confidence levels of manufacturers versus those of the general small business community and those of construction companies and contractors. By the end of the year, we will be able to determine whether the perceived strength in manufacturing is based upon existing orders or new contracts,” said Gregg Steinberg, president of IPA.

Finding quality employees was listed by 17% of the manufacturing respondents as their most significant issue. Other major issues were cost of materials (16%), taxes (13%) and economic conditions (12%).

“The fact that 12% of the manufacturers rank the economy as their biggest concern illustrates that there is a pocket of concern about the next 12 months and that some owners and managers are following the indicators should it be necessary to make adjustments necessary to manage profitability,” said Steinberg.

Surprisingly, only 2% of the manufacturers said energy and fuel were there greatest concern, while 15% of the universal group of all small businesses said it was their leading issue.





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2016 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.
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
Safety standards and electrical test instruments; Product of the Year winners; Easy and safe electrical design
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
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Diagnostic functions for system safety; Specifying industrial enclosures; Effective decision support for a crisis
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Natural gas for tomorrow's fleets; Colleges and universities moving to CHP; Power and steam and frozen foods

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