The business climate for middle market manufacturers has improved markedly since the end of 2015, and the manufacturing segment has experienced steady growth in both revenue and employment. But with this growth has come a number of critical and interconnected challenges that have caused manufacturers to rethink and evolve virtually every aspect of their operations.
Mounting competition and globalization, rising costs, and skills shortages are urgent issues that each influence the others, making the overall challenge significantly greater than the sum of any one part. This has resulted in a manufacturing environment that is much more complex today than it was five years ago. At the same time, technological advancements, increasing collaboration among businesses in the same value chain, and changes to product and service mix offer manufacturers new paths to winning, as long as the challenges can be mastered.