Earlier this year, President Obama set a goal of doubling US exports in the next five years. But, a new survey shows that most high-tech manufacturers see little chance of achieving that ambitious objective.
More specifically, the Change in the (Supply) Chain survey, conducted by IDC Manufacturing Insights and sponsored by UPS, found that:
The majority of respondents (60 percent) believe it is "very unlikely" or "not likely at all" that the President's goal would be achieved. Only 3 percent of companies think it is "very likely" that the export goals will be met.
The overwhelming reason, cited by 60 percent of the companies surveyed, was the belief that the US is "too expensive" for high-tech manufacturing.
Even though these results are decidedly pessimistic, Scott Davis, chairman and CEO of UPS and a member of the President's Export Council, remains cautiously optimistic.
"Despite the pessimism in some quarters, I believe this goal can be attained," he said. "The United States still is the world's largest manufacturer and it's been demonstrated time and time again that foreign trade creates U.S. jobs. And when an American company limits its business to the United States, it's turning its back on 96 percent of its potential customers. This is an issue of economic growth and UPS is committed to helping our customers grow their businesses."
The survey, which targeted decision makers in the areas of operations, supply chain and logistics and distribution at high-tech companies across the country, also revealed insights about current supply chain issues.
Survey respondents recognize the need for change in their supply chains, but they admitted that several barriers exist. Companies reported the weakest links in their supply chains today are a lack of end-to-end visibility (48 percent), unstable suppliers (44 percent) and challenges with demand planning (44 percent).
Historically, high-tech companies have also faced the challenges related to reverse logistics process of handling product returns and repairs. Nearly half (46 percent) of those surveyed reported that meeting customer expectations was their greatest business concern when it came to reverse logistics. The greatest supply chain challenge was in getting customers to comply with returns processes (22 percent).
More information about the survey is available at the pressroom.ups.com.