updated: 10/9/2009 1:06:00 PM

Study Finds Hoosier Manufacturers Remain Optimistic

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

Indianapolis-based accounting firm Katz, Sapper & Miller is out with its fourth annual Indiana manufacturing survey. The report shows more than half of respondents believe the economic downturn had a significant, negative impact on sales volume, however Hoosier manufacturers expect steady or improved results in 2010. Other key findings reveal suppliers are often not deeply involved in the manufacturing process in such a way to maximize the efficiency of the supply chain, the demand for workers has declined and Hoosier manufacturers with a greater focus on globalization tend to be more successful than those focused solely on U.S. markets.

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Press Release

INDIANAPOLIS (October 9, 2009) – The certified public accounting firm of Katz, Sapper & Miller, LLP today released the results of its fourth annual Indiana manufacturing survey, The Gear and Fulcrum: Performance and Practice of Indiana’s Manufacturers. The study is commissioned by Katz, Sapper & Miller and developed in partnership with the Dauch Center for the Management of Manufacturing Enterprises (DCMME) and the Global Supply Chain Management Initiative (GSCMI) in the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University.

More than half of the respondents to the survey reported that the recent economic downturn had a significant, negative impact on sales volume. The study did, however, indicate that Hoosier manufacturers expect steady or improved results in 2010. Other key findings reveal:

·Internal Supply Chain – Suppliers are often not deeply involved in the manufacturing process in such a way to maximize the efficiency of the supply chain. This suggests that improvements – technological, communication, etc. – could increase the overall supply chain profitability.

·Staffing – The demand for workers has declined. Most workforce changes occurred on the shop floor and in administration, with minimal changes in purchasing, human resources and sales. The location of job cuts indicates companies may be anticipating the need to ramp-up operations quickly after the recession.

·Global Opportunities – Hoosier manufacturers with a greater focus on globalization tend to be more successful than those companies focused solely on U.S. markets.

·New Products – Survey respondents indicated that they are looking outside of their current markets for growth opportunities. Alternative energy was the area reported as being favored by most respondents.


“This year’s study suggests that past ‘business as usual’ practices are being re-evaluated, resulting in innovations among forward-thinking manufacturers,” said Scott Brown, Partner-in-Charge of
Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Manufacturing and Distribution Services Group. “Such changes may hold the key to emerging successfully in 2010.”

The survey goes on to reveal that while many Hoosier manufacturers believe that their own internal company changes are necessary, additional considerations for their long-term success must include a renewal in consumer confidence, greater access to traditional financing, and the recovery of the automotive industry.

“We found that companies have actively focused on improving their supply chain competitiveness by examining every aspect of their business and choosing to do what they are best at or finding other companies to assist. The best performers through this difficult economic transition also took advantage of global opportunities to find new markets and raw material sources,” said Dr. Ananth Iyer, Director of the Dauch Center for the Management of Manufacturing Enterprises and the Susan Bulkeley Butler Chair in Operations Management. “Companies are making critical and difficult moves that will position them for growth as the economy turns more favorable; they are exploring new opportunities in the wind, medical devices and defense sectors. In short, Indiana manufacturing companies in the survey showed that they are ‘pulling themselves up by their bootstraps’ and doing what it takes to become competitive.”


Research Methodology

The Dauch Center for the Management of Manufacturing Enterprises (DCMME) at Purdue’s Krannert School of Management completed the 2009 Gear and Fulcrum study between April and August of 2009. The online survey was designed to provide insights into management choices made in 2009 by manufacturing and distribution companies across Indiana. Participants spanned the supply chain from raw material suppliers to final assembly OEMs.

To view the complete results of The Gear and Fulcrum: Performance and Practice of Indiana’s Manufacturers visit: http://www.ksmcpa.com/pdfdocs/2009_Gear_and_Fulcrum_Survey_Report.pdf.


About Katz, Sapper & Miller, LLP

Katz, Sapper & Miller is the largest Indianapolis-based accounting firm. In business since 1942, the firm has earned a reputation as a leader in the areas of accounting, audit, tax, and consulting services. The firm has been named one of the “Best of the Best” accounting firms in the nation by INSIDE Public Accounting magazine and was ranked ninth among the “Best Places to Work in Indiana” by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. The firm is an independent member of Nexia International, a leading global organization of independent accounting and consulting firms. For more information visit us at www.ksmcpa.com.

Source: Katz, Sapper & Miller LLP

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