A Glimpse at Manufacturing in 2014

ASQ recently released our latest manufacturing outlook survey. As you may know, we conduct this survey every year. Results from 2013: Sixty-five percent of manufacturers experienced revenue growth in 2013, but–you knew there was a “but”–nearly half still consider the economy the biggest challenge. In both 2012 and 2013, 70 percent of manufacturers said they experienced revenue growth.

The survey was fielded to respondents in the aerospace, automotive, food, medical device, pharmaceutical and utility industries, among others. You can read the results of the entire survey here.

This year, we partnered with the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition, of which we’re members, to conduct the survey and explore smart manufacturing.

A few more facts from the survey:

  • About 46% of the respondents say the economy continues to be the biggest hurdle to operations, while 18% said the shortage of skilled workers is the biggest challenge they foresee in 2014.
  • One interesting sidebar in 2013 is the respondents’ use of smart manufacturing, which the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition defines as “the integration of network-based data and information that provides real-time understanding, reasoning, planning, management and related decision making of all aspects of a manufacturing and supply chain enterprise.”
  • Only 13% of respondents use smart manufacturing, but 82% of those who do experience more efficiency.
  • Another positive kernel from the survey: 35% to 36% of respondents expect their companies to either increase hiring or maintain current staffing (15% expect reductions).
  • And a whopping 49% expect salary or merit increases in 2014.

So—all in all, a positive outlook with a side of caution. Do these results reflect the mood in your organization, or that of your clients?

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