Prime Advantage, a buying consortium for midsized manufacturers, has announced the findings of the 14th edition of its “Purchasing and Manufacturing Survey,” revealing financial projections and top procurement insights of more than 750 U.S. manufacturing companies. The results show continued optimism about revenues and employment, as well as increasing demand for flexibility and responsiveness in supply chains. Confidence in growing revenues extends into 2016, according to the study.
Eighty percent of respondents expect to be at or above the previous year’s revenues. Although this remains a significant portion, it is the lowest percentage of optimists in this category since 2010. With demand decreasing for some members, 27 percent report that they currently are performing below forecast for 2015. This slowdown may be temporary, as 83 percent of members expect to maintain or increase revenue performance in 2016.
Manufacturers remain optimistic about investment in their operations as 87 percent of respondents either are meeting or exceeding capital expenditure plans for 2015, with 73 percent expecting current trends to continue throughout the remainder of the year.
Once again, raw materials top the list of leading cost pressures for procurement professionals. Indirect materials and supplies, as well as component parts pricing, also have been significant margin-threatening factors for manufacturers this year.
Hiring is strong, as 61 percent of members plan to hire new employees in 2015. However, a lack of qualified workers remains the top threat to manufacturing growth among members for the second consecutive year, with 46 percent voicing this concern, down from 53 percent in 2014. The three most desired traits for potential procurement hires are analytical skills, negotiation expertise, and a strong acumen for relationship management.
Source: The Fabricator