2024 Outlook Report Reveals Why Manufacturers Are Optimistic About 2024

This article appeared in the Jan/Feb 2024 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

Supply chain issues, employee retention and data security are big concerns shaping leaders’ decisions according to a survey of more than 330 manufacturing executives across the country. However, most manufacturers remain optimistic about the future of the industry and are ready to tackle these obstacles head-on.

Wipfli conducted a survey to get a pulse on the latest trends, opportunities and challenges impacting the industry and found that more than seven in 10 respondents are planning Industry 4.0 technology investments in the coming year and a full 88 percent expect to increase revenue in 2024.

Strategically, most manufacturers surveyed are targeting new customers more frequently than existing customers and plan to focus on increasing product sales in existing markets in the coming year. This strong optimism underscores their confidence in rebounding from previous setbacks while leveraging emerging opportunities in an ever-evolving market.

Our survey highlights the remarkable resilience manufacturers have shown throughout these challenging times. However, it’s imperative that critical areas such as employee retention, data security and rising costs tied to inflation be addressed.

Employee retention emerged as one of the key hurdles highlighted by survey respondents. Manufacturers are using increased pay and bonuses, better benefits and other perks to keep and attract top talent. Addressing this concern becomes paramount as companies strive to maintain stability and cultivate growth.

Our research shows, while there are many obstacles, there is even more untapped potential in the areas of digital technology and AI that need consideration as we move forward into 2024.

Download the report to learn why manufacturing executives are optimistic about the coming year — even in the face of inflation and recession fears.


Bill BoucherAs the leader of Wipfli’s Manufacturing, Retail & Distribution Practice, Bill Boucher works with business leaders to assess, improve and scale their businesses while aligning digital solutions to support growth and efficiency. He may be reached at 678-427-2680or

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