A survey of more than 1,000 industrial executives and managers in the U.S. found that their No. 1 concern is finding and keeping qualified employees. The survey was conducted by Thomas Publishing Co., New York.
"Resoundingly, 72% of the American Industrial Marketplace Study participants agreed that finding and keeping qualified employees has now become industry's greatest challenge," says Ira J. Schloss, Thomas Publishing's director of corporate planning and research. Fifty-nine percent of the respondents pointed to wage and salary constraints as the cause for the widespread skill shortage, while 43% pointed to low education levels as the determining factor.
Among the study's other findings:
- Seventy-two percent of respondents indicated that future growth will come from new product lines and extensions to existing products.
- Seventy-two percent agreed that the primary reason to form alliances is to meet customer demands.
- While 64% of respondents seek new suppliers to improve quality, the majority (77%) indicated they look for new suppliers to lower costs.
- Sixty-seven percent use the Internet for research, while 51% use it for communication with customers.
- Seventy-four percent said they have to spend personal time to keep up with the skills and knowledge required to do their job.