New Survey Highlights COVID-19’s Effects on Manufacturers

News Release Feb 26, 2021

ST. LOUIS – BKD CPAs & Advisors and the Manufacturing Institute’s (MI) Center for Manufacturing Research worked together to launch a survey series focused on small and midsize manufacturers. Manufacturing leaders for companies with fewer than 500 employees were asked to detail the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their operations.

Some of the survey’s most notable findings included:

  • Despite millions of Americans currently receiving some form of unemployment insurance, more than 77 percent of survey respondents reported they expect to continue struggling to find talent in 2021.
  • More than 46 percent reported they were re-evaluating their supply chain.
  • More than 83 percent enhanced their workplace safety measures and requirements, with more than 55 percent reporting they were working to re-engineer their production processes to allow for social distancing.

BKD National Commercial Services Group National Industry Partner John Mather said, “It is clear the pandemic has had a significant impact on small and midsize manufacturers. Not all the impacts are the same, and the results show a variety of concerns. With that in mind, the Manufacturing Institute continues to play an important role in assisting these businesses with their challenges.”

Respondents also offered their own commentary on what their “new normal” looks like.

“The survey reveals the diverse ways that small and medium manufacturers have adapted to the pandemic—and what they expect in the coming months. It captures manufacturers, in their own words, describing the future of everything from virtual work and flexible schedules to new product lines and price pressures,” said the MI’s Center for Manufacturing Research Director and National Association of Manufacturers Chief Economist Chad Moutray.

You can view the full survey here.

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