Manufacturing Update – Feb 2017

March 7, 2017

The Federal Reserve sends us more good news this month with another set of positive readings and an optimistic outlook for the next 6 months.  National employment numbers look good and on-line job postings here in the region remain strong.  The statewide employment numbers won’t be available until mid-March.

This month’s featured article—The Work Ahead: Mastering the Digital Economy—is worth reading, not only because of the pace and scale of how they describe the digital transformation underway, but because of the clarity of the messages, unique and powerful graphics, some good advice…and the sense of humor with which the messages are delivered.  For example,

  • On the inevitability of what’s happening: “If you’re hoping to head out for a nice cold pint and wait for all this to blow over , we’ve got some bad news for you.”
  • On business leaders asking themselves if they have the right business models and technologies: “As recently as five years ago, these questions tended to be asked once a year at the annual senior executive offsite at a nice golf resort.  Now, they are—or should be—asked every day in the unglamorous offices where the “real work” is done.”
  • On not focusing on digital: “If deepening, broadening, strengthening, extending or improving your digital presence isn’t the number one thing on your “to-do” list when you get out of bed first thing every morning, you might want to go back to bed.”

You get the message.  As we continue to see and learn about the impact advanced technologies are having on manufacturers, we’re seeing how the world of work is indeed taking a new form.  Part of our job here is to help our clients navigate these choppy waters and embrace the inevitable…and then head out for a nice cold pint.

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Business Outlook Survey—February “Growth in regional manufacturing is broadening”

  • Indexes for general activity, new orders, and shipments were all positive this month and increased notably from their readings last month
  • Firms continued to report growth in employment and work hours
  • Future indexes for growth over the next six months continued to reflect a high degree of optimism

Advanced Manufacturing Technology

The Work Ahead—Mastering the Digital Economy
Produced by the Center for the Future or Work, The Work Ahead is a research series providing insight and guidance on how business – and jobs – must evolve in an economy of algorithms, automation and AI.
This piece offers plenty to think about as the rapid spread of advanced technologies transforms businesses, business models, and the world of work.

The Center studied “2,000 companies from across the globe — with a combined total revenue of about $7.3 trillion during the past year — and found that business leaders are already feeling the ground shifting beneath their feet due to the power of new technologies.”

The report illustrates just how big and dramatic the “digital revolution” actually is, creating new revenue opportunities and requiring new ways of thinking.
One theme: “In our ‘new normal’ world, the Republic of Digital is the state you want to be in.”

Click here for the complete report.

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