North American Manufacturers Cite High Level of Supply Chain Risk

Top two risks were material costs and supplier stability

More than one-third of North American manufacturers, responding to a MFGWatch survey, say they've experienced a significant supply chain disruption in the past three months.

When asked if they or their customers had experienced a significant supply chain disruption in the past three months, 38% of both buy-side and supply-side manufactures indicated that they had. While more than 50% said their supply chains had been stable, 38% indicates a high level of activity in managing and responding to risk.

In terms of specific supply chain risks, buy-side OEMs cited material costs (47%) and supplier stability (39%) as the most important issues to their companies.

Supply-side manufacturers identified customer stability as the most important issues by a wide margin (82%).

The data also indicate that North American manufacturers are seeing business conditions stabilize. While both audiences say they've reduced staff during the past three months (suppliers -- 43%, buyers -- 28%), they also expect to maintain or add more employees in the coming three months (suppliers -- 72%, buyers -- 75%).

"As North American manufacturing emerges from recession and continues to become more global, businesses are finding supply chain risk mitigation and management to be top of mind," said Mitch Free, CEO of MFG.com. "This survey shows that while extended supply chains are presenting manufacturers with immediate challenges, they are also seeing stabilization in business activity, as evidenced by their expectations to hire more employees."

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