Milwaukee, WI––The second annual   ASQ Manufacturing Outlook Survey   shows a majority of manufacturers are optimistic about an economic uptick in 2011 at their organizations. The survey conducted by ASQ reveals 68% of respondents employed in the manufacturing sector predict their organizations will experience revenue growth. 

Despite the economic landscape, a year ago 64.7% of respondents predicted that revenue would grow in 2010. This year 67% indicated that their organizations experienced revenue growth in 2010. More than 1,200 manufacturing professionals from the United States and Canada responded to the online survey from October 24 to November 5, 2010.

The two areas from the survey that showed the most promise were in the area of payroll and operational budgets. 18% expect a pay freeze in 2011, compared to 44.8% in 2010 at their organizations. In addition, 18% predict mandatory budget cuts in 2011, whereas 35.2% did in 2010.

Other findings include:

  •  48% expect of a salary/merit increase;

  •  47% expect organizations will continue to create processes to reduce costs, down from 61.3% in 2010;

  •  42% expect their organizations to maintain current staff levels;

  •  42 % expect that additional staff will be brought on in their companies; and

  •  73% expect no mandatory furlough days. In 2010, 72% indicated they did not have to take furlough days.

    As organizations made sacrifices to survive a down economy, the survey inquired whether staff reductions or other cutbacks implemented in 2010 negatively impacted the quality of the products/services delivered. 33% of respondents believed that the quality of their products/services was negatively impacted. 32% believed that the quality did not suffer.

    Respondents were also asked what one tip they would give to manufacturers to ensure revenue growth in 2011. The top four tips, similar to the 2010 outlook, from respondents were:

  • To continue to participate in continuous improvement practices, and increase use of quality processes;

  • To increase customer satisfaction;

  • To implement more lean processes; and

  • To reduce costs and eliminate waste.