In late January, I attended the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA)’s Manufacturing Summit. The Summit brought together an impressive array of individuals that were interested in elevating the manufacturing industry in both Connecticut and the United States.
As part of the presentations, a partner from the accounting firm, McGladrey, presented the results of that firm’s 2012 Manufacturing & Distribution Monitor Report. The Report, which is based on over 900 responses to an online questionnaire, provided valuable insight into the state of U.S. Manufacturing.
One of the interesting aspects of the Report was its analysis of growth by industry sector. I was particularly interested in two industries that I have a great deal of experience with: (1) Food and Beverage; and (2) Aerospace.
Approximately 79% of the Food & Beverage businesses increased U.S. Sales over the past twelve months. On the other end of the spectrum, the Aerospace sector is anticipating a reduction of growth due to budget cuts. The National Association of Manufacturers reports that proposed budget cuts could result in the loss of 130,000 manufacturing jobs in 2014.
During the CBIA Manufacturing Summit, there was also discussion of six critical issues facing the manufacturing industry:
- EPA / Other Regulatory
- Trade & Exports
- Workforce Investment
- Health Care
- Energy Prices
Not surprisingly, there is a legal overlay to virtually all of these issues particularly with respect to the wide range of laws and regulations that a manufacturer or distributor must comply with in order to meet all local, state and, federal laws.
For this reason, I think it is extremely important to stay up-to-date on not only the legal side of the equation, but how legal decisions will impact the overall business environment. If you have suggestions about publications or other sources to read on these topics please let me know.