Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Report: Manufacturing business growth slows over 2019


November 11, 2019
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Manufacturing business growth has continued to rise over the past year, but at a much slower rate than the previous 12 months, according to the newly released Global Growth Index survey by ERP provider Epicor.

Despite political uncertainty and the difficulty in recruiting and retaining skilled staff, there has been a marginal one per cent rise in the number of businesses reporting growth over the past 12 months. The index, administered by research firm IDC, surveyed 2,390 global business leaders.

Political volatility and uncertainty continue to be a common cause for concern across the globe. Thirty-two per cent of respondents cited the China-US trade dispute as likely to have a negative impact on future business growth. A quarter of businesses (24 per cent) stated that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit is also still a big threat, with the percentage rising to 46 per cent of EMEA-based respondents.

Despite this, business growth over the last 12 months has been stable, but respondents admit it hasn’t been easy. Forty-two per cent found it challenging and 23 per cent feel that staff skills and experience have played a detrimental part in maintaining growth.

“The manufacturing industry plays an integral role in our global economy and people forget that it is responsible for delivering important products we use every day,” says Epicor CEO, Steve Murphy. “As such, the health of the manufacturing industry is something we should all be concerned about. While it’s good news to see that growth in this industry is still taking place, we need to keep a close eye on what factors are contributing to this growth and what factors are causing a lag.”

Now in its third year, the Epicor Global Growth Index is designed to measure the state of worldwide business growth within the manufacturing industry. The index tracks the performance of businesses – year on year – within 13 territories across a number of key indicators, including turnover, profits, head count and product range. Compared to last year’s results, the Growth Index rose by one per cent, compared to 3.7 per cent in the previous 12-month period.

Reid Paquin, research director at IDC, says that investing in the correct technology for the job provides insights into operational workflows. “This can help alleviate stress and enable people to deal with challenges more effectively, by providing the flexibility, agility, and adaptability needed to respond to market conditions and customer demands,” he says. “Technology can also have a positive influence on other factors including work ethic and staff recruitment and retention.”