Manufacturing & Distribution
Download the McGladrey Monitor Update
Download the 2012 Manufacturing & Distribution Monitor Report
Download the 2012 Distribution Monitor Report
Following a relatively positive year for sales performance and expansion, middle-market manufacturers and distributors are largely optimistic about their own businesses. Yet they are grappling with a variety of challenges that include eroding confidence in economic conditions, struggles with finding a skilled workforce, and uncertainty about government legislation.
According to the 2012 McGladrey Manufacturing & Distribution Monitor report, executives of midsize companies find themselves in an uncertain business landscape.
Despite their concerns about the U.S. and world economies, however, executives are generally optimistic about their prospects in the next 12 months. That most businesses reported they are thriving or holding steady may be a factor in their optimism.
U.S. sales at most organizations rose in the past 12 months, and are expected to keep growing in the next 12 months, albeit at a much lower rate.
Overall, the respondents are looking to invest in the infrastructure of their businesses, particularly in process improvements. The primary objectives cited for improvement initiatives are to reduce costs as well as to improve quality, customer satisfaction and speed.
Most businesses expect costs in many categories to increase in the next 12 months, particularly in areas such as transportation and fuel costs, equipment and machinery, and energy and fuel; some expect transportation and fuel costs to increase by more than 10 percent.
Years of reduced staffing may be catching up with the industry. A majority of businesses plan to increase total employment in the next 12 monthsl. Finding new hires with the right skill sets, however, could be challenging.
The unique aspect of this data lies in the fact that most of the survey participants are privately owned or are private equity-owned organizations. Because most of the data referred to in the media is based solely on publicly available documents, this makes the Monitor results rather exceptional for the industry.
The 2012 McGladrey Manufacturing & Distribution Monitor was conducted in May and June 2012. There were 924 total valid respondents to the 2012 McGladrey Manufacturing & Distribution Monitor (categorized as 554 manufacturers and 370 distributors). Responses were received by The MPI Group, an independent research firm.
Along with this report, Monitor participants receive a customized benchmark report that provides views of their responses to the questions posed, along with comparisons to the aggregate responses for their industry category and geographic location. The analysis in the Monitor report – along with the customized benchmark report – provides a comprehensive view of the business environment.
This is the seventh consecutive year McGladrey has polled manufacturing and distribution industry executives.