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The report features the results of a comprehensive survey of more than 1,300 engineering, technical, manufacturing and industrial professionals in
the United States, 50 percent of whom influence more than
$50,000 in annual spending on components, equipment or services.
The survey results reflect economic conditions that are clearly mixed, with some companies and sectors performing better than others. Among the industrial companies that participated in GlobalSpec's Economic Outlook Survey, 49 percent expect to finish the year ahead of plan, with the rest anticipating that sales will remain flat or fall short of expectations.
Key findings include:
The area of concern most cited among industrial professionals is the economy (55 percent).
Other concerns include quality (45 percent), improving production efficiencies (43 percent), and expanding to new markets (38 percent).
Forty-nine percent of companies anticipate growth for the rest of the year, while 32 percent anticipate no change.
In terms of revenue expectations compared to the previous year, 40 percent anticipate higher sales and 32 percent anticipate lower sales than last year.
The highest expectations for increased sales is in the Biotechnology/Pharmaceuticals sector, with the majority (58 percent) estimating that sales will be ahead of plan in 2012.
The hardest hit sector is Communications – Data/Telecom/Wireless Networks, with 57 percent expecting sales to be down from their 2012 plan.
The top three areas where industrial companies are spending more time and effort are entering new markets (56 percent), new product design & development (50 percent), and researching future projects (50 percent).
"In an economy that's still finding its legs, industrial marketers must make smart decisions on where to invest their limited time, money and resources" said
Chris Chariton, senior vice president, product management & supplier marketing for GlobalSpec. "There are growth opportunities but companies need to know what industries are expanding and what activities are getting the most attention and, most importantly, understand the platforms that make greater use of their marketing investments and present the best opportunity to engage new customers."
Along with the results from the latest research, the report also offers recommendations for industrial suppliers on how to: