Thriving companies invest more in technologies, McGladrey report says
Thriving companies invest in technologies more than companies that are holding their own, and than those in decline, according to Karen Kurek, partner, McGladrey LLP, citing "The 2014 McGladrey Monitor" report, in the Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit (GAMS), part of the Industrial Automation North America show at International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS). GAMS is presented by CFE Media, Control Engineering, and Plant Engineering.
The annual McGladrey report looks at the state of the industry and how thriving companies succeed. Survey size for 2014 was 1147 with 80% from the U.S., and 20% in Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, and U.K. Respondents were chief executive officers and chief financial officers of mid-sized companies.
Key findings: Looking up
Among key findings: 36% of those describing themselves as thriving invested more in information technology, machinery, equipment, and R&D than those companies "holding their own," or in decline. Thriving companies also are looking at mergers and acquisitions, continuous improvement in processes, focus on supply chain, and they regulation and compliance better than others.
In other findings:
- 57% businesses expect an increase in employee levels.
- 75% believe it is important to their brand that products are made domestically.
- 67% expect profits before interest and taxes to increase.
- 66% businesses cite government regulations as the biggest threats to growth.
- 59% of executives feel their data is at little or no risk. Even though many of these respondents said, "I don’t think hackers are interested in my data," even manufacturers have social security numbers and intellectual property. One manufacturer had a data breach through a networked sensor on the CNC machine, Kurek said.
Thriving companies are seeking to grow through innovation. Thomas Edison had a midnight lunch for key staff, Kurek said, citing Sarah Miller Caldicott’s book, "Power Patterns of Innovation," which said leaders need to ask what’s next in provocative ways.
Continuous improvement is key, and more companies said they were onshoring manufacturing this year and 10% said they were planning on doing so.
One point of parting advice from Kurek: Understand the talent pipeline as people are approaching retirement, and look at how to attract people into your organization.
– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coming soon: videos of the Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit, including:
How to get more from your system integrator
The role of networks in energy use.
Building blocks of manufacturing excellence.
Industrial automation and modern connectivity.