US manufacturers unsure of meeting growth targets: Capgemini

Less than half of US manufacturers are very confident they can meet their own growth goals, says a new Capgemini study. The study also finds that only one in five American manufacturing executives considers their companies global scale in key areas.

On an average, the study, Leading Through Growth, notes that less than two in five or only 39.9 per cent US manufacturing executives are "very confident" of being able to increase revenues sufficiently to maintain or improve their position in the global marketplace over the next three years with their current resources.

Manufacturing performance may also be compromised by the fact that very few — less than 20 per cent — of the 273 respondents consider their companies to be global standard in the revenue generating areas of product innovation, operational excellence, and customer retention. As a result, manufacturers are considering a host of initiatives for growth. The most popular are:

  • Implementing continuous improvement practices outside of production (56.5 per cent)
  • Increasing training (49 per cent)
  • Making larger investments in capital assets (38.3 per cent)
  • Outsourcing some current functions (32.4 per cent)
  • Hiring more people (32 per cent)
  • Seeking mergers and/or acquisitions (28.5 per cent)

According to Gary Baldwin, vice president and North American Manufacturing Industry leader for Capgemini , two-thirds, or 67 per cent, of the most often cited strategies for improving performance and growth relate to people management. Manufacturers are considering multiple and complex strategies, but for many companies, the real solution can be much more straightforward, he says.

Baldwin notes that by partnering with external companies who possess deep industry insights and global resources, manufacturers can address the people management challenges.

In his view, an experienced and trusted third-party provider can not only help manufacturers meet the challenges unique to their industries, but will also provide the types of resources they need to meet their revenue targets and achieve sustained business growth into the next decade.