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Made in North America

Results of Deloitte's survey can help manufacturers improve their competitiveness


Made in North AmericaAs key drivers of productivity and innovation, manufacturing companies play a pivotal role in North America’s economy. Yet years of market turmoil have taken their toll on the sector, prompting industry players to wonder if globalization will ultimately compromise the productivity, competitiveness and profitability of domestic manufacturers.

To answer that question, Deloitte surveyed 321 executives of leading North American manufacturing enterprises — and their responses may both surprise and hearten you. The survey was conducted in association with   Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) , and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Manufacturing Institute in the United States.

A positive outlook predominates
“Given the challenges manufacturers face, including high structural costs, the impact of globalization, and rapid demographic and technological changes, we imagined manufacturers might have a negative outlook for the future,” says Luc Martin, leader of Deloitte’s  Manufacturing practice in Canada. “In reality, however, our survey respondents were optimistic that manufacturing will become increasingly competitive over the next five years throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico.”

Equally notable was the fact that many executives credit the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for improving their revenue growth and business performance. “NAFTA has opened many doors of opportunity for companies across North America,” notes Jayson Myers, president of CME. “We need to build on that to equip our companies with the right tools to be globally competitive.”

Enhance your competitive position
Although sector fundamentals remain strong, the Made in North America survey also reinforces the need for manufacturers to become more competitive on a go-forward basis. To succeed in this effort, North America’s manufacturers will have to take a holistic approach to their enterprises, bolstering capabilities across the value chain — including production, sourcing, R&D, distribution, human resources, financial management, sales and service, marketing and customer relationship management.

As survey results show, the barriers to competitiveness remain formidable, running the gamut from labour costs and government policies to raw materials costs and availability of skilled workers. Yet, North American executives are signalling that their competitive capabilities are sufficiently robust to overcome these challenges. While much work lies ahead, the future of manufacturing in North America looks bright.

Read Made in North America 



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More about the results

Read  Made in North America  

Listen to our podcast,  The future of manufacturing in Canada , with Luc Martin and Jayson Myers

Read   Embracing change: Addressing competitive strategies for Canadian manufacturers , published in the May/June issue of CME 2020 magazine

Read the  press release

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