June 14, 2012
Buoyed by growth and confident in their futures, U.S. manufacturers are laying out an agenda for restoring their industry to its earlier glory, according to results of ThomasNet.com's newest Industry Market Barometer® (IMB). Overwhelmingly, they are pushing to revitalize the U.S. manufacturing sector by creating jobs at home, doing business with U.S. suppliers, and expressing pride in the quality of products made in the U.S.
More than 3,700 buyers and suppliers of industrial products and services, including more than 1,600 professionals from manufacturing companies, participated in the latest IMB. The research looked at their performance during 2011, their outlook for 2012, and their growth strategies. Most of these respondents are from small and midsized businesses, representative of the manufacturing sector. Responses of the 1,600 manufacturers, combined with verbatim comments, provide color on the aspirations and challenges of today's manufacturing professionals.
"Manufacturers know that they do more than sell products or provide services; they play a vital role in the growth of the American economy," said Eileen Markowitz, president of Thomas Industrial Network. "Their success is critical to the success of America. And as we can see from this report, the future is looking bright for all of us."
During 2011 more than half of respondents' companies grew, and 75 percent expect their companies to grow during 2012. They attribute this growth to a focus on customer retention and service, competing more aggressively in core markets, developing new products, and pursuing new business in the U.S. and overseas.
Manufacturers are spending on capital equipment, hardware, software, and facilities to increase production capacity (83 percent), upgrading their plants, and developing new products and services. In addition, 48 percent are hiring, with openings for line workers, skilled trade workers, and engineers.
Respondents cited challenges that include the skilled-labor shortage, pricing pressures, and overseas competition.
To download a complimentary report on the IMB findings, visit www.thomasnet.com/imb.
ThomasNet.com, part of Thomas Industrial Network Inc., is a sourcing and supplier discovery and selection platform for OEM, MRO, and other products and services.