Hoosier Manufacturers Say They’re Mostly Optimistic

Hoosier Manufacturers Say They’re Mostly Optimistic

The Indiana Manufacturers Association (IMA) recently conducted a 2021 Spring Business Survey of its membership to get an updated picture of how Hoosier manufacturers, Indiana’s largest economic sector, are recuperating and continuing to manage through the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest IMA survey, conducted in late May and early June, measured manufacturers’ outlook and various factors, including federal unemployment benefits, childcare, supply chains and more, that are impacting business operations and manufacturers’ ability to successfully run their businesses. The results of that survey may be found here.

According to the survey, 63% of those surveyed indicated that they were mostly optimistic about their future operations. The 6-12 month outlook was mostly positive, with 31 percent Very Optimistic, 44% Optimistic, 21% Stable and 5% Pessimistic. Ranking the 18-24 month outlook, respondents were also very positive, with 31% Very Optimistic, 46% Optimistic, 18% Stable and 5% Pessimistic.

A main impediment to many businesses has been the ability to find qualified workers for open positions. Fifty-nine percent (59%) indicated that it has been extremely hard to find qualified workers for open positions. And a whopping 84% responded yes when asked if the federal unemployment benefits had affected their ability to hire workers.

Regarding vaccinations, 25% stated they had taken no action, 74% indicated that they encourage employees to get vaccinated, and only 1% mandated vaccinations for all employees. In encouraging vaccination among employees, 38% of those surveyed offered paid time off, 6% offered extra sick days, 6% offered cash or other incentives, and 50% have employed other methods.

Regarding supply chain issues, 3% said supply chains were very reliable, 42% said they were experiencing some manageable delays, 40% said there are serious but manageable delays, and 15% stated that serious delays are impacting the success of their businesses.

Those manufacturers surveyed reported that 86% of employees are working fully in person. Five percent (5%) said that production personnel were the only in-person workers, and 9% stated they were phasing in non-production personnel. For those with employees still working from home, 65% stated that their timeline for return to in-person work was 1-2 months, 27% indicated in-person work would occur in the Fall of 2021, and 8% indicated in-person work would recommence in 2022.

“Manufacturers have led the charge throughout this unprecedented year and they continue to do so. Indiana’s outlook remains positive, in no small part, due to thoughtful leadership throughout the manufacturing community,” said IMA President and CEO Brian Burton. “Our challenge now is to take the lessons of COVID-19 and use them to propel business forward with fresh ideas and discern how we can remain agile in times of uncertainty.”

Category Business Buzz