As we delve into the latest findings and trends within the manufacturing landscape from Wipfli’s 2024 State of Manufacturing Outlook, this blog post uncovers key takeaways that can shape the industry’s trajectory in the coming year. From technological advancements to evolving operational trends, we’ll unravel the crucial insights that will influence manufacturers’ strategies and decisions in 2024.
Top Takeaways from Wipfli’s 2024 State of Manufacturing Outlook
- 9 in 10 survey respondents project revenue increases in 2024 through targeting new customers more frequently than existing customers and having contingency plans in place to stay prepared and withstand disruptions.
- A majority of manufacturers are not using Industry 4.0 technologies and automation, like AI and robotics despite the proven efficiencies and smart, timely decision-making abilities it allows for.
- Cloud computing topped the list of technology currently being used by manufacturers (62%).
- Training and costs are the biggest obstacle in implementing new technologies.
- Inflation is the major financial concern for manufacturers, resulting in more conservative approaches with capital expenditure.
- Three challenges that are top of mind to manufacturers are:
- Production costs and supply chain issues – Modern manufacturing supply chains are transforming to strike a balance between costs, efficiency, and resilience. Wipfli’s report says the following four elements will lead manufacturers to a successful supply chain strategy: 1. Strengthening existing supplier relationships, 2. Engaging with multiple suppliers, 3. Deploying digital Industry 4.0 tools for increased visibility, and 4. Combining efficiency with resilience.
- Employee recruitment and retention– Manufacturers are using a variety of different methods to help with employee recruitment and retention, including increased wages, improved benefits and perks, flexible work, upskilling and reskilling, and leadership training.
- Data security – To be eligible for cyber insurance, manufacturers must now fulfill essential cybersecurity prerequisites. Knowing that, 69% of manufacturers have increased investments in cybersecurity technologies in 2023, up from just 51% in 2021.
The Wipfli 2024 State of Manufacturing Outlook serves as a compass guiding industry stakeholders through the complex terrain of current manufacturing. The highlighted trends and key takeaways underscore the importance of adaptability, innovation, and resilience for manufacturers striving to thrive in the evolving landscape. As we navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead, let these insights inform your decisions and inspire forward-thinking approaches that will contribute to the continued growth and success of the manufacturing sector in the year to come.