The certified public accounting firm of Katz, Sapper & Miller LLP today released the results of their annual Indiana manufacturing survey. This study of small- to medium-size manufacturing companies was commissioned by Katz, Sapper & Miller and developed in partnership with Indiana University's Kelley School of Business – Indianapolis, Conexus Indiana, and the Indiana Manufacturers Association.
The results from this year’s survey, 2012 Indiana Manufacturing Survey: “Halftime” for Indiana Manufacturing, indicate that Hoosier manufacturers are stronger this year than at any point since the Great Recession, and are well positioned to compete in the coming years.
“Fundamental changes are continuing to take place across manufacturing in all kinds of capabilities,” said Scott Brown, partner-in-charge of Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Manufacturing and Distribution Services Group. “Businesses are starting to invest for growth, including facilities and automation, with an eye toward providing customers increasing quality at lower prices. While many Hoosier manufacturers have managed to survive the effects of the recession, challenges remain. Of course, not all manufacturers have found the perfect winning strategy, but many are heading in the right direction and some are excelling during these challenging times."
Other key findings reveal:
- Hoosier manufacturers have largely shaken off the effects of the Great Recession and have stabilized their businesses. A significant majority of Indiana's manufacturers now report that their business is either "healthy" or "stable” with tougher times behind them.
- Survey results indicate that the past's relentless rounds of downsizing are over, and while that approach worked well when mere survival was paramount, it is hardly a winning strategy for the future.
- Many Hoosier manufacturers now recognize that the winning strategy is targeted investment aimed at growth. Over 70% of respondents reported that their goals were increasing investment in areas either essential for revenue growth, or across the entire business.
- Indiana remains well positioned to lead American manufacturing. Hoosier manufacturers are highly competitive in a broad variety of industries and products, and, in fact, one in 10 of the companies in this survey are planning to open a new facility in Indiana in the near future.
- A significant number of respondents report that they are onshoring manufacturing back to the United States. Indiana’s competitive advantage remains the fact that nowhere else in America allows manufacturers to position themselves closer to their customers and markets, or offers greater advantages in terms of suppliers and workforce quality.
- Successful manufacturers are continuing to rely on process improvement programs such as "Lean" and "Six Sigma" for implementing change, as well as increasingly taking advantage of advanced automation or smart manufacturing technologies to remain competitive.