Most in Industrial Sector Look Set to Meet '08 Revenue Goals, but Economic Conditions Weigh

GlobalSpec Industrial Indicator Survey finds mixed results, with current year shaping up well for most companies, but uncertain outlook prompting reduced hours, spending for many

Troy, NY — September 5, 2008 — The majority of organizations within the U.S. industrial sector are on target to meet or exceed their revenue goals, but many indicate that they are reducing overall spending in 2008, according to a recent survey of engineering, manufacturing, technical and industrial professionals.

These findings were uncovered in the seventh annual "Industrial Indicator Survey" conducted by GlobalSpec, a specialized search engine, information services and e-publishing company for the engineering, industrial and technical communities.

In the survey, 81 percent of respondents stated that their company is on or ahead of revenue targets for 2008. Additionally, 60 percent indicated that their company's 2008 revenue will be ahead of 2007 revenue.

Survey results also show that companies remain committed to growing their businesses: 41 percent of respondents stated that their company has expanded sales into new markets in 2008, up from the previous year. And 32 percent of respondents revealed that they are increasing their sales and marketing spending.

While many companies are maintaining momentum and growing, current economic conditions are beginning to take a toll on some companies within the industrial sector — 41 percent of respondents said that their companies are reducing overall spending in 2008.

Energy, Healthcare Costs Still Weigh

Rising energy costs are a cause for concern among companies within the industrial sector — 49 percent of respondents indicated that it is an issue that their company is currently concerned about or focused on, with 10 percent stating that it's the biggest issue facing their company this year.

In addition, concern over healthcare and transportation costs rose significantly in 2008, with 44 percent of respondents stating healthcare costs are an issue (compared to 28 percent in 2007) and 41 percent stating transportation costs are an issue (compared to 31 percent in 2007).

"According to our survey results, current economic conditions have not yet made a significant impact on the revenue targets of companies within the industrial sector, but there is concern over rising costs," said GlobalSpec Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Angela Hribar. "Companies looking to gain their share of market opportunity during these uncertain times should consider prioritizing marketing investments by focusing on programs that provide a greater return and offer a consistent, ongoing presence in front of a targeted audience."

Companies also can benefit from expanding sales and increasing product lines to reach a broader and deeper audience than ever before to allow for additional sales opportunities, said Hribar, who added that companies are continuing to invest with GlobalSpec.

Additional findings from the GlobalSpec survey include:

  • 13 percent of respondents are working fewer hours each week, and 17 percent reported their company has implemented reduced work schedules;
  • Respondents reported the most common areas for reduction are overall/general spending, travel and capital expenses;
  • 10 percent of respondents indicate that they outsource more than 50 percent of their engineering work, a number that has remained unchanged in past years.

Access the survey results is available (registration required) at