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Manufacturers Poised to Thrive in 2024: A Deep Dive Into Growth Strategies

Manufacturers Poised to Thrive in 2024: A Deep Dive Into Growth Strategies


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Manufacturers Poised to Thrive in 2024: A Deep Dive Into Growth Strategies

30 Nov 2023

Aptean Staff Writer
Two manufacturing professionals harness the power of software while managing operations.

As we step into 2024, the manufacturing industry faces a landscape shaped by challenges like rising production costs, supply chain disruptions and reduced customer demand. That said, our recent survey of over 200 discrete and process manufacturers in North America showed that the industry as a whole is in a growth mindset.

This blog will give you an idea of what sets thriving manufacturers apart from the rest, as well as which strategies are most effective for remaining competitive in this market. And, for all the statistics, you can also download the full report: Discrete and Process Manufacturing 2024 Trends and Outlook for North America.

Key Survey Insights

Of surveyed manufacturing companies, 83% experienced revenue growth in 2022, and an impressive 87% anticipate further growth in 2023. Process manufacturers, in particular, are bullish about the year ahead, with an expected average revenue growth of 10.7% and profit growth of 9.5%—and it’s personal care manufacturers that are the most confident, predicting a substantial 13% revenue growth.

Barriers That Could Impact Growth

The results of the survey showed that to realize their growth expectations, manufacturers are focused on addressing these aforementioned critical challenges, in order of priority for respondents:

  1. Rising production costs

  2. Supply chain disruption

  3. Reduced demand from customers

These concerns have escalated significantly over the past 12 months, mirroring the industry's ever-changing conditions. Smaller organizations, especially those with revenue between $10-19 million, are grappling with inflation, higher operating costs and material availability concerns.

Pillars for Driving Success

Our research identified three key areas crucial for driving financial success, ranked in order by respondents:

  1. Digital transformation: In 2023, 21% of manufacturers completed digital transformation projects, resulting in increased efficiency and accelerated business growth.

  2. Supply chain resilience: Despite a tumultuous year, manufacturers have improved supply chain resilience by enhancing production scheduling, increasing in-house capabilities and improving contingency planning.

  3. Cloud migration: Cloud adoption is increasing, with 33% of manufacturers now using cloud-based ERP software. The motivations include security, quality control, compliance, scalability and an increasing number of hybrid and remote roles.

Impact of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is reshaping manufacturing, with noteworthy impacts:

Manufacturing software is driving revenue growth. Our research showed that manufacturers investing in purpose-built software, such as online payment platforms, supply chain management (SCM) systems and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, experience higher revenue growth. What’s more, industry-specific solutions consistently outperformed generic software.

Looking Forward to 2024

While manufacturers are planning for growth, they're still interested in gaining additional advantages through emergent technologies and differentiated strategies. The survey results indicated that businesses are optimistic that the following tactics will be effective in unlocking further growth:

  • AI exploration: Early signs indicate growing interest in artificial intelligence (AI), with 72% exploring its applications, especially in deep learning capabilities.

  • Economically driven sustainability: Despite lower interest, manufacturers leveraging sustainability programs are poised for higher revenue and profit growth.

  • Customer-centric approach: Manufacturers are aiming to keep up with changing customer preferences by investing in business intelligence (BI) tools to turn data into actionable insights.

Forging Your Future With Aptean

As the manufacturing industry charges into 2024, our research reveals a sector determined to succeed. With digital transformation, supply chain resilience and cloud migration emerging as the key pillars of success—you’ll also need a foundation, and that’s where a comprehensive, integrated tech stack comes into play.

Aptean specializes in purpose-built software solutions and is proud to empower manufacturers on their journey to success. Our decades of service to the wider industry and in-depth knowledge of the many sectors and subverticals within has allowed us to develop advanced systems that suit highly specialized needs.

We also offer flexible, cloud-based deployments for a lightweight approach requiring minimal additional hardware that also offers enhanced cybersecurity, stronger data protection, greater scalability and broader accessibility.

Are you ready to drive growth in 2024? Explore how Aptean's manufacturing software can propel your business forward. Contact us today.

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