Exports a ‘significant opportunity’ for manufacturers

24 October 2019 Consulting.us 3 min. read
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LMA Consulting Group Inc. president Lisa Anderson believes that manufacturers should look to exports in order to expand and future-proof their businesses. Anderson is a manufacturing and supply chain expert who founded LMA, which works with manufacturers on strategy and supply chain transformation.  

"As manufacturers work on customizing products and meeting ever-changing delivery expectations, it's equally important to consider where the customer is located and their drivers. In today's manufacturing world, exports are a significant opportunity for manufacturers to grow and diversify their business. In fact, statistics show that 95% of consumers are outside of the United States, and most countries see U.S. exports as highly desirable. That's staggering and significant," Anderson said.  

When considering exports – and to create a supply chain that is reliable and strong – Anderson said businesses must focus on variables such as culture, the end user, legal requirements, and product use. These factors will obviously be different depending on the country and the product, and play important roles in any given business’s success. 

"There is tremendous opportunity to continue to expand beyond our borders. But that means that not only must sales, operations, new product development, and finance be on the same page, but also international partners and advisors. And the end goal must be the same: to maximize the customer experience in the most efficient and effective manner for growth, scale, and profits," she said. 

The manufacturing industry contributes $2.38 trillion to the US economy. The National Association for Manufacturers recently posited that for every dollar spent in the industry, an additional $1.82 is added to the economy. And thanks to technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain, companies are able to produce more products faster, driving revenue and increasing profit margins. 

United States Manufacturing Output

But that doesn’t mean humans are becoming less important within the industry – statistics show there are nearly 250,000 manufacturers in the US, which together employ 8.5% of the country’s workforce. Top sectors for manufacturing are, in order of revenue: chemicals; computer and electronic products; food, beverage, and tobacco products; and motor vehicles and parts. 

"Despite what people hear about robotics and AI taking over manufacturing jobs, manufacturers will continue to be a key employer. The jobs may change, but the need for talent will not," Anderson said. “Manufacturing is growing and is significant. US manufacturing alone would be the eighth-largest economy in the world.”

Top 10 United States Manufacturing Sectors

Exports of US-manufactured goods have quadrupled in the past 28 years. This growth, in turn, continues the call for talent – more than 4.6 million new manufacturing jobs are estimated to be needed over the coming decade. Top sectors for job growth within the industry include pharmaceutical, aerospace, and navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments.