Market Research Suggests Manufacturing CEOs Preparing For Growth

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22nd August 2012 12:51 - Industrial

Data from PricewaterhouseCoopers' “15th Annual Global CEO Survey” shows that industrial manufacturing CEOs are preparing their companies for growth. According to the research, carried out with CEOs and available on PwC’s website, 72% of CEOs in this sector are changing strategy this year in order to make sure they remain competitive. In addition, almost four fifths (78%) of industrial manufacturing CEOs have implemented a cost-reduction initiative over the past 12 months, and 70% expect to ‘trim the fat’ in the next year.

CEOs are also being cautious with their financial resources – less than a quarter (22%) intend to make a major change to the amount of capital investment this year. However, where opportunities exist, they are willing to take advantage, with more than a third (35%) expecting to complete an international merger or acquisition in the coming year. In addition, the vast majority of industrial manufacturing CEOs (84%) plan to change their organisation’s research and development and innovation capacity in the coming twelve months – suggesting they value the creation of new products and services. Almost a third (31%) said that this would be a major change.

Staff and talent retention appears to be a worry for CEOs in this sector. Almost half (49%) said that middle managers with high potential represented the greatest challenge to recruitment and retention. 39% said younger workers, and 37% cited skilled production workers. Only a quarter stated that overseas unit heads would be their biggest challenge, whilst a similar proportion (24%) said that recruiting and retaining their senior management team would be the biggest challenge. 

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