New MFGWatch Survey Results Announced! Q4 2011

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Today, on our 12th year anniversary (oh yeah…and Valentine’s Day!), we launched the 10th edition of our MFGWatch Survey. The results are extremely interesting and very encouraging for the state of North American manufacturing and where we are heading.

For complete results, visit our MFGWatch.

Here are a few highlights from the Q4 2011 results:

  • Product manufacturers and job shops/contract manufacturers reported growth in sales through Q4 2011.
  • Hiring remained sluggish as manufacturers continue to be reluctant to hire or are having difficulty maintaining current staff.
  • The majority of North American manufacturers are not considering exporting strategies. More education is needed on the benefits of exporting for small business.
  • Top Supply Chain Concern: Operating costs. However, there was an increase in concerns regarding the availability of qualified labor by job shops/contract manufacturers.
  • Although not yet a majority, product manufacturers reporting reshoring or plans to reshore/nearshore increased in Q4 2011.
  • Job shops/contract manufacturers report both growths in capacity and customer inquiries.

“It’s encouraging to see such positive signs of growth in North American manufacturing throughout the end of 2011. Although there are still many hurdles for manufacturing as a whole, we anticipate continued progress heading into 2012,” said Mitch Free, Founder and CEO of “It is clear from these latest results that continued focus on manufacturing education is needed – to ensure qualified labor is available on the shop floor. Especially as growths in capacity and customer inquiries continue for North American job shops and contract manufacturers.”

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