CFOs Instrumental in Building Factory of the Future

40% of CFOs highlighted the management of rising inventory costs as a major supply chain risk; 36% were concerned about managing cash flow; and 35% pointed to the management of local and global supply chains.

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Manufacturing CFOs will play a critical strategic, innovative and financial role in the future of businesses moving forward, as they’re in position to make decisions impacting company culture, digital future and risk mitigation, according to a study released by SYSPRO USA.

“The pandemic highlighted the importance for digitally-savvy talent as businesses continue to invest in smart technologies and automation. The skills vacuum is vast, and companies have acknowledged a growing need to onboard highly specialized individuals and rapidly upskill their current staff,” says Scott Herbert, CEO of SYSPRO USA.

From BusinessWire:

  • To thrive, 65% of CFO respondents surveyed indicated they have shifted expenditure into new markets, product lines and technologies. 
  • 68% of respondents have already recovered or anticipated recovering by the end of 2021. 
  • The metal fabrication industry was close at 71%, but a full 30% do not anticipate recovery until the second half of 2022. 
  • The medical device industry respondents slightly lagged the overall industry average at 59% expecting full recovery by end of 2021. 
  • The electronics industry respondents reported 82% are experiencing a full recovery by the end of 2021, with 36% seeing no negative impact on their business from the pandemic.
  • Key areas of focus for 2022 entail investing in e-commerce and digital transformation technologies; managing working capital vs. investment, cash flow and rising inventory costs; improving visibility into performance; managing governance and risk; and addressing an over-reliance on spreadsheets.
  • When asked about top business risks for 2022, 40% of CFOs highlighted the management of rising inventory costs, 36% of respondents were concerned about managing cash flow and 35% pointed to the management of local and global supply chains.


“While the pandemic continues to have an impact on the global road to recovery, it has also allowed businesses to shift operations and adapt. We are seeing the industry explore new territories, expand production lines, and evolve business models. The CFO has been an instrumental catalyst in these shifts and is evolving the face of manufacturing as we know it,” according to Hebert.