Latest MFGWatch Survey: Sustained, Consistent Supply Chain Disruptions

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For the second straight quarter, more than one-third of North American manufacturers responding to’s MFGWatch Survey say they’ve experienced a significant supply chain disruption in the past three months.

shipOf Sourcing professionals that responded, 35% say their companies have experienced an unexpected event or significant supply chain risk in the past 3 months that caused them to investigate or select new sources. On the Supplier side of the survey, 34% of respondents said they have received queries or actual work from OEM/Sourcing companies suffering from supply chain risk and in need of immediate help.

These percentages are virtually unchanged from those received in response to the last MFGWatch Survey in October, 2009 (37% and 38%, respectively). They represent a consistency that suggests that 1/3 of supply chains in North America suffer constant, consistent threats - a staggering number, when considering the effort required to manage and mitigate those risks.

For Suppliers of parts, products and services, this level of volatility offers opportunities to win new work, establish relationships with prospects under duress or reclaim work lost previously to extended supply chains.

Also, expectations for excess capacity and employment growth expressed last quarter did not fully materialize.  In October 2009, 62 percent responded that they expected to maintain the capacity of their plants in the coming quarter – but only 34 percent said they had in the most recent survey. As for employment, 13 percent of manufacturers stated in October that they anticipated staff reductions, but 38 percent actually reduced staff in the last quarter of 2009 - a reflection of the slow recovery in the manufacturing sector.

MFGWatch Survey is a recurring quarterly survey of North American manufacturers, conducted by The most recent survey was completed 20 January, 2010, and drew responses from 334 manufacturers of parts and services, purchasing professionals and engineers. An array of industries, including automotive, aerospace, medical, industrial equipment, consumer products and textiles are represented in each MFGWatch quarterly survey.

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