The 2015 ASQ Manufacturing Survey Outlook indicates that manufacturers, on the whole, are feeling positive with revenue numbers up in 2014. 83% of manufacturers surveyed expect things to look even better in 2015.
75% of the manufacturers in the US had revenue growth for 2014 while the previous year had approximately 65% of manufacturers experiencing growth. 1500 manufacturers participated in the annual survey, including those in the automotive, medical device, aerospace, food, utility and other industries.
The positive view isn’t completely rosy, however; there are still challenges to be faced. Manufacturers still expressed concern over the economy and many still had trouble finding skilled workers.
Regardless of the challenges, an increasingly robust economy is sure to help manufacturers continue to feel confident as 2014 comes to a close. But what can manufacturers do to ensure that 2015 is as good (or better) than 2014?
- Continue to invest in quality workers. Training and apprentice programs are a great way to develop employees who are eager and willing to work. Investing in your employees is a great way to build a more skilled workforce.
- Manage your supply chain effectively. Communicate with your suppliers to ensure that deadlines and cost requirements are adhered to.
- Enhance product lines. Even if you’re not ready to invest in an entirely new product, continue to improve existing product quality. And remember to keep those R&D channels open.
- Listen to your customers. Find out what they want most and do what you can to deliver it. A happy customer is, quite often, a repeat customer.
The atmosphere in manufacturing is positive and, with the promise of increasing technological advances, the industry is almost certain to continue to improve. Looks like all those people announcing the death knell of our industry didn’t quite get it right. And that’s a terrific thing. Those of us in nonwovens manufacturing are pretty pleased about it.
Happy 2015 to all of our manufacturing partners and suppliers!
Blog image courtesy Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net