A special report by The National Center for the Middle Market
By Chubb Insurance
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.
While middle market manufacturers have new opportunities—new markets to serve, new ways of winning and keeping customers, and new flexibility in operations—they also confront new exposures for which they may not be fully prepared. These include financial and competitive challenges, safety and cybersecurity risks, regulatory and political uncertainty, and talent and workforce development problems. With a better understanding of the increased potential for growth and how to manage and mitigate new risks, U.S. middle market manufacturers can position their businesses to continue to excel and achieve new levels of performance.
This report will cover the following insights:
- Middle market manufacturers face increasingly intense competition driven by globalization and consolidation.
- Manufacturers’ relationships with suppliers and customers are increasingly interdependent.
- Manufacturers are changing their product and service mix.
- Technology is rapidly changing factory floors and manufacturing processes.
- Talent management issues stem from and compound every other challenge manufacturers face.
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