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Predicting Manufacturing Success in 2015


John Zegers, the director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Manufacturing, is predicting “a landmark year for American manufacturing in 2015.” In an article for Manufacturing.Net, the former manufacturers’ representative explains that “a convergence of activities” will help U.S. companies to grow, change, and compete.
America’s manufacturing’s problems have been particularly painful at times, but this National Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program member sees strong promise in six predictions.

Reshoring and Manufacturing Growth

First, reshoring will continue – though in a more targeted way. Manufacturers consider a range of factors when making operational decisions, but an abundance of U.S. natural gas means more affordable energy for American factories. As evidence, Zeger cites a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) estimate that low prices and high shale gas recovery could add one million manufacturing jobs.
Zegers’ second prediction – that “a manufacturing boom will hit the United States” – is also data-driven. As recently as November 2014, he notes, the national Purchasing Managers Index stood at a solid 58.7. That’s an important number, but the rise of Big Data could be even bigger. Connected factories and the Internet of Things (IoT) will drive efficiency, and even smaller manufacturers will make major software investments.

Other Predictions

As part of his predictions, Zegers also foresees increased investments in capital equipment and predictive maintenance technologies. Finally, the director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Manufacturing predicts that manufacturing will grow at a higher rate than GDP. As evidence, he cites an Institute of Supply Management study that sees revenue increases in 15 different manufacturing industries in 2015.
John Zegers’ predictions are all positive ones, and they apply to manufacturing nationwide. Here in New York State, how will the “convergence of activities” that he foresees affect your business in 2015?
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