Two Businessmen Catwalk Discussion Outlook

Use our Manufacturing and Distribution Outlook report as affirmation of your own business decisions and strategies, and perhaps cause to reassess some of them.

Industry trends

M&D Survey Results Are an Industry Gut Check

  • 4/15/2016

Our fifth annual Manufacturing and Distribution Outlook report has been published and is ready for you to download, read over, and digest. You’ll find a lot of great information to help gauge how your own business strategies stack up against your peers’ and get affirmation of your decisions and perhaps cause to rethink a few of them. 

That’s how we regard our survey, as something of an industry gut check. And once again our respondents show they have what it takes to stare down menaces like escalating regulations, a tenuous economy, skilled workforce shortages, and the challenges of mass retirement and its implications on both leader and owner succession. We subtitled our report, Resiliency and Growth, because our participants have shown increases in both revenue and profit, continued entry into global markets and international supply chains, and heightened capacity utilization. Even as economic and political uncertainty clouds the horizon, these companies move forward with adaptability and entrepreneurial grit. 

Before you dive into the Outlook itself, a quick primer on the Value Triangle and building value into your business will help give you some context for our analysis of the results. The report is broken into the four categories of the Value Triangle — leadership, execution, growth, and finances — that every company must master to achieve true business excellence. This is our industry worldview, and our report reflects it. 

Some highlights of this year’s report include: 

  • Managing the double problem of simultaneous leadership and ownership transitions
  • Emphasizing the importance of people-focused company cultures
  • Tempering profitability projections with caution 
  • Adding capacity with careful planning and flexibility 
  • Balancing inventory and working capital 
  • Entering global markets with deliberate planning 
  • Protecting against the near-inevitability of an information security incident

Wherever you take your company from here, we hope our Manufacturing and Distribution Outlook lends some helpful insight on building and managing your business. Companies like yours are the backbone of our country, and the people who own and lead them are its heart. All of us at CLA salute you for your hard work, job generation, and countless contributions to our economy and way of life. 

If you did not participate this year and would like to be a part of our next survey, simply subscribe to M&D industry updates and you’ll automatically be invited to respond to the sixth annual survey. 

 We wish you all continued success.