SyncShow B2B Marketing Blog

Northeast Ohio Regional Manufacturing Survey Reveals an Expanding Industry

The results are in!

The 2018 Northeast Ohio Regional Manufacturing Survey recently revealed its findings and showed that the region’s manufacturing industry is booming.

More than 400 companies representing 76,000 Ohio manufacturing workers were surveyed, and of those surveyed, about 86% of them expect gross revenues to increase this year, while nearly 59% plan to make capital expenditures.

Manufacturing is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio. In fact, Ohio is the third-largest manufacturing state based on employment. In terms of workforce growth in 2017, 21% said their company grew 10% or more while 24% said they grew 5%.

Workforce growth in 2017

What do you attribute growth or shrinkage to?

21% grew 10% or more

  • Better sales effort and new products
  • Customer’s increased demands across the board
  • Expanding markets and sales initiatives
  • Aggressive plans to increase market share in the United States
  • Focus on hiring, training and retention

24% grew 5%

  • Desire to increase revenues
  • Growth strategies and new products
  • Attempting to enter additional markets
  • Adding headcount to meet production needs
  • Increased business and more awareness to online marketing

7% shrunk 5%

  • Automation, efficiency and lower sales
  • Shrinking community of skilled laborers
  • Retirement and no business growth
  • Better paying jobs and benefits at other companies
  • Reduced sales from foreign competition and offshore migration

Even though 21% of companies expect to grow the size of their workforce by 10% or more this year, with another 40% expecting to grow by 5%, companies are still finding it difficult to find skilled workers for their vacancies.

Nearly 34% of those surveyed said the biggest challenge their company faces in hiring qualified candidates is applicants who don’t have the necessary skills or education. Another 27% said their biggest challenge in hiring qualified candidates is applicants who lack work ethic, commitment or interest. Furthermore, 51% said the shortage of qualified workers will affect their bottom line and ability to meet their growth in the coming year.

At SyncShow, we partner with Hiring Optics to find new talent and qualified candidates so that we can professionalize the sales and marketing infrastructure of American manufacturers for the benefit of their clients, employees, vendors and the region.

Why? Because the need for manufacturers to improve sales, marketing and recruiting are overwhelming.

Of those surveyed, nearly 15% said their company will need to fill sales and marketing positions as they grow. Digital marketing is a great way to increase sales efforts and attract new employees.

Aside from attracting new skilled workers, other industry challenges include cybersecurity issues such as online hacking, which 69% of those surveyed said is also a growing concern.

Whether these issues will significantly affect growth or not remains to be seen, but as the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET) stated at the reveal of the survey, what manufacturers need today is not the same as what they needed 10 years ago.

In fact, emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing and digital manufacturing are starting to enhance innovation and productivity, and companies that are innovative with their products, processes and services are the ones that are growing the most. The survey showed that nearly 14% of companies launched a new product or service in the last two years.

Talent is an ever-present challenge for all manufacturers and solving for this will be a critical component to the success of manufacturers in Ohio. However, business growth continues to stem from ageless concepts such as product innovation, increased sales efforts, better products and expanded markets. Those companies that creatively address the people and innovation challenge will continue to thrive.


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