CEOs Focusing On Supply Chain Optimization In 2019

“Cautious optimism remains among manufacturers despite the fact that the National Association of Manufacturers quarter four 2018 survey reported the second straight quarterly drop in confidence. Just 88.7 percent of survey respondents stated they felt either somewhat or very positive about their company’s outlook. This is the lowest figure since the first quarter of 2017 when it hit 93.3 percent, but still significantly higher than 2016 when the percentage of positive responses hit a low of 56.6 percent.

Despite the dip in positive responses, manufacturers are still largely positive about the expectation of pro-growth policies like tax reform.

While lower corporate tax rates and better treatment of depreciation will make CEOs cautiously optimistic, the uncertainty and turbulence awaiting will temper enthusiasm. According to the NAM survey, manufacturers see the four biggest business challenges as attracting and retaining a quality workforce, increased raw materials costs, trade uncertainties, and rising health care and insurance costs. Uncertainty about tariffs and trade, an unpredictable global economic climate, rising commodity costs, a tightening labor market along with overwhelming logistics challenges, not the least of which are driver shortages, will all play a role in the transformation of the supply chains in most industries.”