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Wipfli survey results show manufacturers’ optimism

Monday, November 13, 2023

Wipfli, a top 20 advisory and accounting firm, has published its 2024 State of Manufacturing report, derived from a survey of more than 330 manufacturing leaders. The report shows that, despite a host of challenges, manufacturers are bullish on their future and are tackling challenges — like cybersecurity and labor turnover — with resolve.

The survey results shed light on various factors impacting manufacturers’ outlooks on both economic prospects and digital transformation efforts.

Notably, an overwhelming 88% of respondents anticipate increased revenue for 2024. Strategically, most manufacturers surveyed are targeting new customers more frequently than existing customers and plan to focus on increasing product sales in existing markets in the coming year.

This strong optimism underscores their confidence in rebounding from previous setbacks while leveraging emerging opportunities in an ever-evolving market.

“Manufacturers have shown remarkable resilience throughout these challenging times, a testament to their ability to adapt and thrive amidst uncertainty,” said Bill Boucher, manufacturing, retail and distribution leader at Wipfli. “However, it’s imperative that we address critical areas such as employee retention, data security and rising costs tied to inflation. Our research shows while there are many obstacles, there is even more untapped potential in the areas of digital technology and AI that need consideration as we move forward into 2024.”

Employee retention emerged as one of the key hurdles highlighted by survey respondents. Manufacturers are using increased pay and bonuses, better benefits and other perks to keep and attract top talent. Addressing this concern becomes paramount as companies strive to maintain stability and cultivate growth.

Download the report or learn more about Wipfli’s solutions for manufacturers.