The results from the 2012 Indiana Manufacturing Survey indicate that Hoosier manufacturers are stronger this year than at any point since the Great Recession, according to a press release.
“Indiana’s manufacturers have clearly recovered from the Great Recession and are now investing for growth,” said Mark Frohlich, associate professor of operations management at the Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis, who presented the results with Steven Jones, associate professor of finance at Kelley. “They are stronger this year than we’ve seen in recent years and ready to compete with the best that there is.”
This study of small- to medium-size manufacturing companies was commissioned by Katz, Sapper & Miller and developed in partnership with the Indiana University Kelley School of Business Indianapolis, Conexus Indiana and the Indiana Manufacturers Association.
Other key findings reveal:
• Hoosier manufacturers have largely shaken off the effects of the Great Recession and have stabilized their businesses. A significant majority of Indiana’s manufacturers now report that their businesses are either “healthy” or “stable” with tougher times behind them.
• Survey results indicate that the past’s relentless rounds of downsizing are over, and while that approach worked well when mere survival was paramount, it is hardly a winning strategy for the future.
• Many Hoosier manufacturers now recognize that the winning strategy is targeted investment aimed at growth. More than 70% of respondents reported their goals are increasing investment in areas either essential for revenue growth or across the entire business.
• Indiana remains well positioned to lead American manufacturing. Hoosier manufacturers are highly competitive in a broad variety of industries and products, and, in fact, one in 10 of the companies in this survey are planning to open a new facility in Indiana in the near future.
• A significant number of respondents report that they are on-shoring manufacturing back to the United States. Indiana’s competitive advantage remains. Nowhere else in America allows manufacturers to position themselves closer to their customers and markets or offers greater advantages in terms of suppliers, workforce quality and transportation.
• Successful manufacturers are continuing to rely on process improvement programs such as Lean and Six Sigma for implementing change, as well as increasingly taking advantage of advanced automation or smart manufacturing technologies to remain competitive.