Nearly three quarters of manufacturers and distributors are optimistic about their business prospects in the next six months, according to a new industry report from Sikich. In fact, 72% of respondents ranked their level of optimism at a seven or higher, on a scale of one to 10, and more than half of manufacturers and distributors are looking to expand their workforce in the next six months.
“As the world slowly opens back up, manufacturers have a lot to look forward to,” says Jerry Murphy, partner-in-charge of Sikich’s manufacturing and distribution team. “This past year has showcased the resilience of the manufacturing industry. From quickly implementing safety protocols in their facilities to maintaining production in a fast-changing environment, manufacturers impressively adapted throughout the past year. Having navigated a tumultuous 2020, the industry appears primed for growth.”
- While 56% of survey respondents plan to grow their workforces, only 5% are completely confident in their ability to obtain the talent required.
- Cybersecurity breaches still run rampant. More than half of manufacturers and distributors experienced at least two information security events in the past 12 months. The most common cybersecurity incidents include email phishing scams (81%), unemployment fraud (42%), and ransomware (9%).
- More than a quarter of survey respondents (28%) are only slightly or somewhat confident in using their existing data to make business decisions, emphasizing a need for improved data quality.
“Even with the high optimism index, there is still work to be done,” adds Murphy. “The competition for talent is at an all-time high, and lack of data confidence coupled with data security vulnerabilities persist across the industry. Manufacturers of all sizes must look to proactively address these issues to keep up with consumer demands.”