During August and September, 61 manufacturing alliance business leaders responded to a 9 question survey seeking their feedback on topics relevant to our members.  The following is a highlighted summary of those responses:

Q1;  What are the top three challenges facing you today?

  1. Challenge –   Finding qualified candidates for current job openings
  2. Challenge –   Lowering cost of overhead
  3. Challenge –   Increasing gross sales level

Q2;  Which of the following two strategies will be your primary focus going forward when you spend money to address the skills gap issue within your organization?

  • 55% said “Technology to replace tasks/functions currently done by workers in house”
  • 45% said “Better ways to recruit good candidates”

Q3; If given time with a business investor, what would be your primary focus for the discussion?

  • 70% said “what ideas would make my business more profitable”

Q4;  If the alliance where to create an event on the topic of “understanding the value of your business’, Which strategy should be the focus of the meeting?

  • 64% said focus on “Self-assessment tools for benchmarking”
  • 36% said “Use a panel of experts”

Q5;  Going forward, what will be your company’s primary strategy for getting new business opportunities?

While many suggestions were submitted, the top three where;

  • 32% said they will “develop a targeted sales/marketing campaign aimed at new prospects”
  • 22% said they will upgrade their in-bound marketing tools and processes
  • 16% said they will begin moving to a new market segment

The remaining four questions focused on the best ways for The Alliance to be of service to its members going forward:

Q6: These are the top four suggested meeting topics for future events.

  • 64% said “Use of technology in manufacturing”
  • 52% said “Workforce development issues.
  • 43% said “Sales/marketing strategies and techniques”
  • 33% said “Succession planning issues and strategies”

Q7:  The best time to hold a meeting was:

  • 42% said “in the morning”
  • 35% said “start at 7AM”
  • 5% said “in the evening/after work”

Q8:  the best format for a meeting

  • 70% said “live meetings with interaction opportunities”

Q9:  the best way to communicate and inform members

  • 40% said “Regular updates on trends/news”
  • 35% said “Provide networking opportunities with other members”
  • 25% said “provide subject matter experts to disseminate knowledge an