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2018 LBMC TN Manufacturing Trends Report



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Tennessee executives rank our state’s business outlook higher than the national averages. 

Makes you proud to be a manufacturer or distributor in our state, doesn’t it? 

Find out what drives these ratings, view the report.

2018 TN Manufacturing Report Outline

  • Demographics
    • Tennessee Manufacturers work in all sectors of the economy and compete on regional, national and international stages
    • Participants represent manufacturers of all sizes
  • Expectations of the Manufacturing Sector
    • 66% of Tennessee Manufacturers expect the sector to expand
    • 62% of National respondents expect the sector to expand
  • Optimism about the Economy 
    • Tennessee Manufacturers are more optimistic in all levels of the economy when compared to National respondents
  • Top Priorities for 2018
    • Growing sales is the top priority for Tennessee manufacturers for 2018.
    • Diverging from the trend, developing new products and services was a priority in 50 percent of Tennessee manufacturers, but only 40 percent of manufacturers nationally.
    • Increasing costs of labor and technology are what Tennessee manufacturers expect most.
    • Interestingly, raw materials were expected to have higher increases in costs nationally, relative to their Tennessee counterparts. 
  • Opportunities to Grow Sales
    • Tennessee manufacturers see their main opportunity to grow sales as being organic within the US.
    • The second most selected opportunity for growth was the development of new products and services
  • Risks for growth in Tennessee?
    • What are the greatest expected barriers and risks to your business growth in 2018?
  • R&D Growth Strategies
    • Manufacturers that invest in R&D expect significantly greater growth in 2018, and a significantly higher percentage of them believe their sectors will grow.
  • M&A Growth Strategies
    • As competition is high, Tennessee manufacturers are considering significantly more strategic growth through acquisition as compared to the national consensus.
  • Focus: Talent 
    • A 12% year over year increase in hiring expectations for Tennessee manufacturers 
    • Competition for talent will increase as more manufacturers grow. 
    • How will your organization stand out to potential employees?
    • 50% of Tennessee manufacturers plan to hire.
    • As a result, Tennessee manufacturers plan to increase wages to meet their staffing needs
  • Focus: Technology
    • Increasing productivity and efficiency was noted as a key driver for technology strategy
    • More efficiently gaining access to relevant data was selected by more than half of Tennessee respondents
    • Cybersecurity, by far, is the top technology focus for manufacturers.
    • Tennesseans are exploring the Internet of Things and Predictive analytics more so than national manufacturers

Find out what drives these ratings, view the report.