Last updateMon, 26 Jul 2021 9pm

Trends & Forecasts

N.A. Manufacturers: Shifting Sourcing Requirements

A major trend in North American manufacturing this year is widespread interest in bringing sourcing and production back from offshore, according to the State of North American Manufacturing 2021 Annual Report from Thomasnet.

The magnitude of the shortages and delays in the supply-chain resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year has inspired companies to reconsider how they can meet their sourcing requirements in the future. This year’s survey found responses of “likely” to “extremely likely” came from 83% of manufacturers asked whether they would add North American suppliers, up from 54% in March of 2020.

A Snapshot of Women in the Manufacturing Workforce

A comprehensive study of women who work in manufacturing was released in December 2020 byThomas (www.thomasnet.com) and Women in Manufacturing (WiM, www.womeninmanufacturing.com). It will serve as a benchmark for following progress and gaining insight into various areas, including the lack of women in management, improving diversity and inclusion practices in the industry and how increasing the number of women employees can help address the manufacturing skills gap.

Pulp and Paper: Changing Habits

Different sectors of the pulp and paper industry have reacted differently to conditions during the pandemic, conditions affected by the surging demand for paper products, said Soile Kilpi of AFRY, an international engineering, design and advisory company. Kilpi updated attendees on the status of the pulp and paper market at VMA’s Market Outlook Workshop, held in August.

Larger companies are improving operations and may be closing some facilities and investing in others. Midsize companies are making investments in new assets.

International Trade: A New World

ShipAndContainersThe world of trade has seen some unprecedented changes in the last few years, changes made more complicated by COVID-19 and what it has done to supply chains, Paula Connelly, a member of the Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg P.A. law firm told attendees at VMA’s Virtual Outlook Workshop in August.

Although the most visible events are those that have occurred between the U.S. and China, Congress and the Administration have expanded their scrutiny to other countries and a broader range of trade practice concerns beyond retaliatory tariffs, including currency manipulation, security concerns and forced labor.

Virtual Market Outlook Event Exceeds Expectations

During the 2020 Market Outlook Workshop August 6 and 7, more than 140 people from across the U.S. and Canada gathered together via laptops and electronic devices to learn what economic experts predict may happen in the short and long term and how that could affect the valves and pumps industries, and to discuss what they were hearing.

“The feedback to our first virtual event and overall participation was even better than we expected,” said Heather Rhoderick, CAE, president of Valve Manufacturers Association (VMA), which produced the event with the Hydraulic Institute (HI).

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