U.S. manufacturers are investing in capital improvements and evaluating their operations, talent, and financial outlook.

Nashville, TN, Nov. 03, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LBMC, a top 35 firm in the nation and one of the Southeast’s largest accounting and business consulting firms, today released findings of the LBMC/LEA 2022-2023 National Manufacturing Survey and Insights Report. The report found while manufacturers are more optimistic about their region than the national or global economy, respondents are concerned about overcoming supply chain disruptions, fluctuating fuel and energy pricing and – most importantly – staffing shortages.

We anticipate manufacturers will put a greater focus on plant and labor in 2023. Manufacturers are taking a close look at the foundations of their operations, their talent and their financial outlook. Investing now in key capital improvements such as plant and equipment and ERP systems will help them prepare for an uncertain economy.

“The theme of the 2022-2023 Manufacturing Outlook Survey and Insights report is Foundations for Success. We chose this theme because survey respondents communicated a strong focus on plant and capital investments that will support more automated and productive companies in the future,” said Andrew J. Usery, LBMC Shareholder and Practice Leader of Manufacturing and Distribution. “Our goal is to bring you targeted data and actionable insights and tools that you can apply to today’s fast-paced, evolving environment.”

Highlights from 2022-2023 Survey Results

  • More local and regional strategic partnerships – Manufacturers are placing more trust in their regional economies and are looking for supplier relationships closer to home. National economic prospects are perceived with less optimism, while attitudes about the international economy are trending toward pessimism for 2023.
  • More automation to augment smaller labor pools – Although investment in plant and equipment and automation has been the talk of this industry for many years, the pandemic and accelerated labor shortage mean that real dollars are moving toward plant modernization. Top investments for 2023 include new manufacturing equipment, ERP systems, and robotics.
  • Exploration of machine learning and analytics tools – Manufacturers acknowledged an uptick in R&D investment this year, which aligns with their top operational spending priorities for information technology tools, new product or service development, and business technology and/or intelligence data.
  • Less cybersecurity response than expected – Although the manufacturing sector was the most targeted industry for ransomware and vulnerability attacks in 2021, companies in this survey did not plan to invest a significant amount in shoring up their cybersecurity in the coming 12 months. This could be because the companies have already invested in this aspect of their business, or they may perceive cybersecurity as less urgent than other investments in the short term. However, cybersecurity and data protection were among the top business drivers that manufacturers cited for using technology.
  • Less concern over ESG as an emerging requirement – This sample of manufacturers, particularly in the middle market U.S. machining/industrial (17%), transportation/automotive (12%), and construction (11%) sectors, indicated limited concern about environmental, social, governance (ESG) factors as serious barriers to growth, at least for the coming 12 months. However, it is an emerging requirement as larger customers must perform ESG due diligence along the value chain.

About LBMC

LBMC is a top 35 business consulting firm that provides complex, unique advisory, and compliance solutions to over 10,000 clients across the nation. The firm’s broad range of services includes tax, audit & assurance, transaction advisory, cyber risk services, litigation & valuation, healthcare consulting, data insights, growth and innovation, staffing and HR outsourcing, technology solutions, financial outsourcing and procurement, and high net wealth planning and management for family offices and individuals. Primary industries include healthcare, technology, manufacturing, private equity, professional services, and not-for-profit. LBMC is a Top 3 Regional Accounting Firm and a national Pacesetter for Growth on Accounting Today’s Top 100 Firms list, as well as a 2022 Forbes Top Tax and Accounting Firm. LBMC is proud to be a national Certified Great Place to Work three years in a row, with more than 750 team members across the U.S. and offices in Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, TN and Charlotte, NC. For more information about LBMC and its Family of Companies, visit

About LEA

Founded in 1999, LEA Global/The Leading Edge Alliance is the second largest international association in the world, creating a high-quality alliance of 220 independently owned accounting and consulting firms focused on accounting, financial, and business advisory services. LEA Global firms operate from 620 offices in 110 countries, giving clients of LEA Global firms access to the knowledge, skills, and experience of 2,313 partners and 21,355 staff members.


2022-2023 Manufacturing Outlook Survey and Insights Report

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