Big manufacturing gains continue as recent reports on last month's production numbers mark the largest period of growth in two years. The latest numbers from the U.S. Institute for Supply Management's index showed manufacturing rose to 54.2 in February, its highest level in 20 months. As the U.S. manufacturing sector continues its rebound, new findings suggest it will help fuel economic growth among the global supply chain.
Bloomberg News reported that U.S. factories expanded last month at the fastest pace in almost two years, while suppliers in emerging markets throughout the world struggle. With such strong momentum in domestic production, some experts expect that the output will help stimulate moribund global markets.
Another report conducted by Travelers on U.S. manufacturing industries further backed up the latest domestic production statistics. In a survey of 200 professionals, it determined that 2012 was a record year for revenues with reasons for optimism expected in 2013.
"U.S. manufacturers were undeterred by the fragile recovery in overseas manufacturing activity," said financial analyst Amna Asaf, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Record Growth Amid Global Supply Difficulties
One interesting feature worth pointing out about this recent growth is how effectively domestic manufacturers have controlled operations amid the compounded challenges of a dealing with a global slowdown and having to navigate the sourcing process among various global vendors.
"If a manufacturer is relying on a small number of suppliers, and those suppliers are faced with a temporary situation where they are unable to provide the materials – the manufacturer can suffer a significant decline in revenues," said Jim Mandes of Travelers.
Perhaps most surprising, though, is the resilience that the domestic manufacturing sector continues to display amid the volatility felt throughout the globe.
Supply Chain Management Tools Boost Efficiencies
A key driver identified as contributing to the growth is the importance domestic suppliers are placing on advanced technologies like data gathering and analytics to improve operations and increase revenue. A recent article by the International Business Times examined findings from a recent Hackett Group survey that found manufacturing companies plan to optimize cost structures by investing an average of 3 percent into their supply chains this year, which could include tools like logistics software and mobile data collection.
"For 2013, companies are clearly focusing on building the skills and infrastructure they need to take advantage of these trending opportunity areas," said the Hackett Group's Dave Sievers.
For suppliers throughout the world, investing in automated data collection methods and analytical tools offering real time access to logistical data anywhere in the global supply chain can be a determining factor in a company's growth or stagnation.