15 Comments

A Non-Political Conversation about American Manufacturing

It certainly is not news that we are living through a Presidential Election. With the first Presidential debate looming tonight, we have begun the final countdown to one of the most contentious election cycles in recent memory. The problem with all of the political intrigue that has characterized this election is that very few of the real issues have gotten fair play. While political pundits talk about gaffes and the candidates’ histories, regular American citizens are becoming increasingly anxious about what 2013 may bring.

One of the most important economic indicators in the United States is the state of manufacturing. The most recent report from Industry Week indicates that manufacturers are feeling increasingly anxious as we head towards the end of the year. Industry Week, in collaboration with the National Association of Manufacturers, has been surveying manufacturers since 1997. In August, 514 manufacturers responded to the survey. The results offer significant insight into where the US economy may be heading. As an early warning sign, we thought we would share some of the key points the survey revealed.

A More Negative Outlook

In the first quarter of 2012, 88.7% of survey participants said they had a positive business outlook. In the last survey, only 69.2% of manufacturers said their outlook on business was positive. This is not altogether surprising. The European recession, among other factors, is creating a lot of instability in the world and the demand for manufactured goods, even in China, has been decreasing as a result.

Industrial Production

Industry Week and the National Association of Manufacturers use several factors to predict industrial production two quarters in advance. In this survey, Industry Week suggests that while industrial production in 2013 should be 4.1% higher year-over-year, manufacturers will actually be producing 1.2% less than what they are producing now.

Sales

The survey reported mixed results in terms of sales projections. For example, according to the survey sales are expected to grow 2.5% over the next 12 months, but that’s not as good as the previously reported 4.7% projection from the first quarter of 2012. In similarly mixed news, one third of companies reported that they expect their sales to grow by 5% over the next 12 months, but that’s not as good as the 50% who predicted growth in the previous surveys this year.

The impact of this uncertainty is already affecting how manufacturers are looking ahead to 2013. Most companies, according to the survey, said their investment levels would remain fairly consistent over the next 12 months, but 16.7% also said they expect their number of employees to decrease over the next year.

Business Challenges

Not surprisingly, 78.7% of manufacturers polled said that the political uncertainty reigning currently was their biggest challenge. Because the two Presidential candidates offer such disparate views on key issues like healthcare coverage and taxes, manufacturers cannot currently plan for expenses for the coming year.

Ramifications for marketing

Of course, marketing represents part of the investment for which manufacturers plan. With uncertainty looming, it is extremely important to develop a marketing plan that incorporates clear objectives, clear strategies, and clear metrics for monitoring the success of those marketing efforts. Negative forecasts and a hazy future do not mean that marketing has to stop. It simply means marketing must get smarter. If you are a manufacturer and would like to talk to us about how to deal with some of these issues, please feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to help.

For the complete Industry Week survey results, just click here.

Advertisements

15 comments on “A Non-Political Conversation about American Manufacturing

  1. […] is a concern for manufacturers (along with everyone else) as we discussed in this summary of the National Association of Manufacturers Survey. What are CEOs of manufacturing companies really contemplating as we end 2012? A new survey from […]

  2. Hey! I realize this is sort of off-topic however
    I had to ask. Does running a well-established blog such as yours
    take a massive amount work? I’m completely new to running a blog but I do write in my journal daily. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily
    share my experience and views online. Please let me
    know if you have any kind of suggestions or tips for brand new
    aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!

  3. It is not my first time to pay a visit this web page, i am browsing this site dailly and get nice information from
    here daily.

  4. Hi there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with? I’m looking to start my own
    blog soon but I’m having a hard time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to
    ask!

  5. Undeniably imagine that that you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be at the internet the
    easiest thing to be mindful of. I say to you, I certainly get irked even as
    folks think about worries that they just do not understand about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and outlined out the
    entire thing without having side effect , other folks could take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  6. Very shortly this web site will be famous among
    all blogging and site-building visitors, due to
    it’s good posts

  7. Wow, that’s what I was seeking for, what a material! existing here at this weblog, thanks admin of this web page.

  8. The coffee constantly preferences absolutely fantastic created that way and really will offer you the jolt
    inside the morning however it is truly a powerful maker not
    a coffee maker therefore not best if you like the mug of coffee inside the
    morning. I’d feel extremely surprised should you decide can notice this West fold Quick – Drip 10-cup coffee maker for purchase anyplace, but you might be confident to obtain an utilized any online, potentially on craigslist, e – Bay, otherwise Bid – Cactus.

  9. Manufacturer de lunettes de soleil reconnues commencé la partie d’en 1937 par Bausch et Lomb, l’Interdiction de Ray
    a géré à écrit le commençant solaire rencontré these types de un incroyable success.
    le les lunettes de soleil d’Interdiction de Ray bon marché are avec non question le la plupart d’ préféré et le monde solaire célèbre, et aussi ceci énorme les succès j’en fait vraiment A mérité because. Carrera is maintenant extremely célèbre in le le monde de mode parce que les 2000 remercie vous à le réussi la rentrée.

  10. Our hands through approach with traditional welding is actually suitable for
    little intricate parts all of the way through to big assemblies also.
    The more experienced welder definitely will always charge, likewise
    if the cost is really small. When you finally’ve gathered these materials,
    your’re ready to initiate AC arc welding. Because one inspector you need to
    be open to visiting another locations like oil refineries,
    ships and also even construction websites in which welding is an integral function of the operations.

  11. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with valuable information to work on. You have performed a formidable task and our entire neighborhood will likely be thankful to you.

  12. When starting out in the stock market, your best bet is to invest in a few high quality and popular stocks.
    You don’t need to include 20 or 30 different stocks in your portfolio. Rather, start to get a feel of how the market works by only selecting a few promising options at one time.

  13. Before investing in a certain stock, be sure to check their rating.
    Many big-name companies actually have questionable
    ratings. Some have been found guilty in the public’s eye in the past of falsifying their earnings, while others are just unstable financially. Look into the credibility of a company before you choose to invest in them to keep yourself safe.

  14. When broth and also spices are boiling, gradually pour the eggs inside the pot.
    The lot of scientific studies happens to be ready over the last few years inside
    what is creating those a bit more and also a lot more overweight.
    That meant that the men and women during the course of which
    time period ate one eating plan plentiful in fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, roots, and also liquid.

  15. Right now it appears like Expression Engine is the best blogging platform available right
    now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: