Industry’s Opportunities for 2011

According to Manufacturing 2010-2011, a report just released by the MPI Group, industry is riding a wave of pluses and minuses into 2011. For example:

Production capacity and output are down. MPI Manufacturing Study data on production output and production volume point to unused manufacturing capacities. Approximately 46%of plants report that production output unit volume had decreased in the past 12months.

Plant investments are expected to rise. Manufacturers are beginning to invest in areas neglected during the downturn. For example, 47% of plants will increase spending on capital equipment and only 14% will decrease spending on capital equipment.

Supply-chain talk vs. walk. Approximately 71% of plants indicate that supply-chain management is “highly important” or “important” to their plants’ success over the next five years. Yet a high percentage of manufacturers continue to interact with suppliers and customers in “buy-and-sell” relationships — 44% and 34% of manufacturers, respectively.

Green/sustainability. Some manufacturers are embracing green practices and improving their sustainability performances, while others evidently believe it’s merely a buzzword or fad. For example, 20% (median) of plant products are recyclable/reusable, up from 10% (median) three years ago. But 18% of plants report no recyclable/reusable products.

The findings in this report are based on the responses of people from 334 U.S. manufacturing plants and 145 international plants (total 479 plants). It identifies ways plants can navigate beyond recession and into growth.

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