Increasingly the U.S. manufacturing sector is looking to small and mid-sized companies to drive industry performance according to a study released Feb. 23 by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), it’s research and education arm, The Manufacturing Institute and RSM McGladrey.
"Even though we've experienced some attrition of small manufacturers in the last five years, small and mid-sized companies still represent more than 99% of America's manufacturers, account for 40% of the value of U.S. production and are increasingly critical to our country's economic success," said NAM President John Engler.
SMMs are in particularly good shape due to a couple of recent trends. Manufacturing Institute president Jerry Jasinowski explained, "First, large manufacturers are increasing their dependence on suppliers of components as they streamline their operations to increase productivity. This has been a positive growth story for many SMMs as they have innovatively expanded businesses into areas formerly owned and operated by large manufacturers. SMMs are the dominant part of the global supply-chain network of large corporations.”
"The second trend—the development of increasingly competitive production in developing countries—cuts the other way and has toughened the landscape for all manufacturers, including SMMs," Jasinowski continued. "To stay in business, SMMs have been entrepreneurs offering value to their customers that low-cost overseas competitors cannot match -- such as proprietary high-technology products, a willingness to customize, extraordinary service and parts support, flexible production runs and fast turnaround times," he said.