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Manufacturers’ optimism steady amid global conflict, continued supply chain and talent challenges: report

Monica Ferguson   

Business Operations Operations Food & Beverage Manufacturing Transportation Canada industry manufacturing Report supply chain

Manufacturers have remained optimistic about their business prospects over the past six months, according to report from Sikich. In the Sikich Industry Pulse: Manufacturing and Distribution report nearly 70 per cent of manufacturers rated their optimism of business prospects over the next six months at a seven or higher on a scale of one to 10. This marks only a slight decrease from the previous Industry Pulse survey from September 2021. In that survey, 71 per cent of manufacturers rated their optimism at a seven or higher.

Manufacturers must overcome supply chain and talent challenges, 10 per cent of manufacturers are “very” confident in their ability to obtain the talent required to support their business strategies over the next 12 months.

While manufacturers have been forced to revisit their supply chain strategies, one-third of survey respondents are sourcing alternative supplies and one-fifth are sourcing alternative products to address supply chain challenges.

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“I’m pleased to see manufacturers’ optimism remain strong, even amid the plethora of challenges they are facing,” said Jerry Murphy, partner-in-charge of manufacturing and distribution services, Sikich. “With the pandemic, supply chain disruptions and geopolitical turmoil continuing to cast a shadow over the industry, manufacturers should focus on strengthening key parts of their operations to reduce their vulnerability to these external challenges. For example, consider adopting advanced technology that improves supply chain visibility and responsiveness. And work to improve recruitment and retention by focusing on creating a superior employee experience.”

The Industry Pulse report found over half of respondents experienced an information security event in the past year, and 36 per cent experienced two or more different kinds of security events. Nearly three quarters of manufacturers reported catching email phishing scams.

The report found that nearly 34 per cent of companies experienced unemployment fraud in the past 12 months, and eight per cent experienced a ransomware incident. While cybersecurity remains a challenge, the Sikich findings mark an improvement from the same time last year. In March 2021, a Sikich report found that 81 per cent of manufacturers experienced an e-mail phishing scam, 42 per cent experienced unemployment fraud and nine per cent experienced a ransomware incident.

For this report, in February and March Sikich surveyed over 100 executives from manufacturing and distribution companies across sectors including industrial equipment, wholesale and distribution, metal fabrication, food and beverage, apparel, footwear and textiles, and transportation.

View full report here: https://www.sikich.com/manufacturing-industry-pulse/

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