Manufacturers have a positive view of the supply chain to meet their needs in 2017.
While 83% of manufacturers have been adversely affected in the past by suppliers' inability to meet their needs, only one-third anticipate a shortage of parts or services in 2017, according to the ASQ 2017 Manufacturing Outlook Survey.
Survey results show 66% of manufacturers expecting a problem with suppliers are working closely with providers to resolve issues, while 35% are working with their suppliers' competitor. Some manufacturers are stockpiling parts, while others are expanding operations to create the necessary parts themselves.
"Supply chain plays a critical role in manufacturing, and companies simply can't risk being without the necessary material they need to be successful," said ASQ Chair Pat La Londe. "Companies need to carefully consider multiple options when faced with a shortage of materials or suppliers that can't meet their needs."
And when suppliers can't provide the necessary materials, respondents said "don't put all your eggs in one basket." Openly communicate with suppliers to determine any potential risks, and have back-up plans -- and back-up suppliers -- to alleviate supply chain disruptions. According to the survey, 59% of respondents said their organization has a formal process to address supply chain risk, whereas 28% don't and 13% aren't sure.
Highlights of the survey include:
When asked about revenue, nearly 72% of the respondents said they expect an increase in their company's revenue in 2017. And while 69% of respondents said their company's revenue increased in 2016, only 6% anticipated growth in last year's survey.
But while respondents are confident their companies will increase revenue, the economy as a whole continues to be the top hurdle facing organizations. According to the survey, more than 36 percent of respondents cite the economy as their greatest hurdle in 2017, down from 40% of respondents in last year's survey.
Furthermore, 74% of respondents said they expect salary increases in 2017, up from 61% in the 2016 survey, and 46% said they expect their company to increase staff, compared to 37% last year.
Others -- just more than 30% -- said the shortage of skilled workers will be their greatest challenge, followed by regulatory issues at 15%. Respondents identified uncertainly about the government direction with a new president, global trade issues and decreased demand for their products as other areas of concern.
Only 7% said a shortage of necessary parts is their greatest obstacle. In fact, respondents are satisfied with the quality and availability of materials, according to the results, which show 68% of respondents said quality is the most important factor when considering suppliers.