For improvements in their manufacturing and distribution activities, companies look to development and acquisition of new product lines as their best hope. In general, the economy is the biggest risk to business improvement. Domestic competition remains the major threat, followed closely by foreign business competition, mostly from China and other Asian markets.
The survey was conducted by the Manufacturing and Distribution Group of Rubin, Brown, Gornstein & Co. LLP (RBG) and the Corporate Finance Department of A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc. RBG is the largest local accounting and consulting group in St. Louis. Included in the survey are responses from 83 manufacturers and distributors across the Midwest with incomes from $10 to $250 million.
Other findings include responses indicating that 85% of respondents have plans to invest in property, plants and equipment over the year, and that although 76% expect sales growth, only 51% expect to hire new employees to meet increased demands.