Tag Archive: survey

Skills Gap – Where Do We Stand?

December 8th, 2019

The skills gap has been a hot topic for many years. Our original research shows a 87% gap. For example, any time Kash Gokli, Engineering Clinic Director at Harvey Mudd and I gather CEOs to talk about timely topics in executive roundtables, no matter the topic of the evening, the lack of talent (or the ‘right’ talent in the ‘right’ place at the ‘right’ time) arises. As technology comes on to the scene in a BIG way, there is even more conversation, confusion and interest in how to successfully navigate the skills gap.

According to research, automation and robotics have the potential to take over countless jobs. This can be seen as mass destruction of high paying blue collar jobs or it can be seen as a significant opportunity to scale up rapidly to meet rising customer expectations and providing new skills to the workforce. As business owners and executives, we view having the ‘right’ technology at the ‘right’ place at the ‘right’ time as a win-win-win. Better customer experiences. Better for the bottom line. Better for our employees as they learn new skills. The trick is navigating this skills gap successfully.

We are also starting to see more and more baby boomers start to retire or think about retiring. The unfortunate thing for our clients is that their knowledge base cannot be replaced with one person, maybe not even two sometimes.  That certainly throws a wrench into the plans! Have you started to unearth what knowledge is in your employees’ minds that you take for granted? Innovative companies are pairing up experience with young, fresh ideas. There can be much to gain if managed well.

Please help us understand what is most relevant in today’s business environment. We will share the results for you first, and we appreciate your support. Take our survey here.

Industry Week’s Salary Survey Finds Good Morale Yet Not Higher Wages

October 17th, 2018

According to Industry Week’s salary survey, almost 70% of respondents are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their current job yet salaries took a 6% dip since last year.   I wonder if the baby boomer retirement ramp up is impacting these numbers as the survey finds that the people with the most seniority make the most money.  

A few interesting statistics:
1) Not surprisingly, bigger companies pay more.
2) Medical devices pay the most, followed by chemicals and food & beverage. Apparel/textiles is at the bottom of the list.
3) VP Manufacturing/Production makes the highest salary ($187,100).

What’s Matters to the Workforce
Yet, the article made a point of saying that salary wasn’t most important to the respondents.  

In terms of what matters most in the job, the respondents said:
1) Challenging work.
2) Base salary.
3) Job stability.

How Employees See It
And, the overwhelming challenge faced in manufacturing by respondents goes back to the skills gap with #1 being the lack of skilled labor.  A distant second (tied) was the adoption of technology and leadership lacking. Lastly, foreign competition and governmental regulation were next. Do you know how your employees feel about their jobs?

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Do these survey results surprise you?  We find that our clients largely seem to follow in line.  There haven’t been significant pay increases.  However, they are starting to lose top talent to the competition due to the intangibles (location, vacation etc.) as well as pay.  Thus, it’s important to watch the market carefully – is saving 3% worth losing one of your best employees? I doubt it!

Our clients definitely are experiencing the skills gap.  They are automating as quickly as possible to keep up with demand while also pursuing new strategies to gain employees (such as reducing degree requirements) and mentor, train and educate employees to promote with the needs of the business.  Only the proactive companies with excellent leaders (as everyone can “look up” their new potential boss and see what others’ think) will thrive!

What are you doing to stand out from the competition when it comes to talent?


Weigh in on Outsourcing, Near-Sourcing and Insourcing Trends in Research Survery

November 3rd, 2016

We need your help. Just as we have conducted previous research studies on Skills Gaps and The Amazon Effect, we are now working on a study that examines outsourcing, near-sourcing and insourcing trends for manufacturers and distributors. It has arisen as a hot topic within our clients and so our goal is to be able to provide timely expertise and trends to help our clients navigate this topic in the best way to achieve growth, customer loyalty, profitability and cash flow.

In the last several years, it has become obvious that we are living in an Amazon-impacted world. Customers expect rapid deliveries, 24/7 accessibility and products and services tailored to their needs. Thus, the traditional sourcing from Asia (with the longer lead times associated with it) has created a significant challenge. Additionally, for non-commodity products, the total costs of outsourcing are rising to parity with North America sources. And, of course, risks abound. Thus, executives are reacting to these factors and re-thinking their strategies about outsourcing, insourcing and near-sourcing.

Have you outsourced, thought about sourcing or plan to in the future?

outsource, research, survey, manufacturing, outsourcingWe want to hear from you. As manufacturing reignites, executives are re-evaluating their end-to-end supply chains in response to elevated customer expectations, increasing labor rates in low cost countries, concerns about “too much” money tied up in inventory due to lengthy lead times and worries about the increased level of risk and disruption in the supply chain. Combinations of outsourcing, insourcing and near-sourcing solutions are increasingly popular as a way to optimize customer service, cost and cash flow. What have you done and/or learned? What are you currently doing? Do you have outsourcing, near-sourcing and insourcing future plans? Complete the survey and help others facing the same decisions make better decisions.

Register to Get the Outsourcing Research Results

Again, I thank you in advance for participating. I always receive great feedback from these studies and we can’t do them without your input. Don’t forget to register for the free report that we will send upon completion of the outsource research. And feel free to let me know of any other topics we should consider researching.