Fictiv’s 2024 State of Manufacturing Report Shows Industry at Critical Point

State of industry tied to economic pressures and AI integration, Fictiv reports.

State of industry tied to economic pressures and AI integration, Fictiv reports.

Manufacturing leaders report economic headwinds (47%) as most impacting their 2024 strategy, according to Fictiv.

Fictiv announces the release of its ninth annual State of Manufacturing Report—a survey of manufacturing leaders that tracks perspectives on the economy, supply chain, artificial intelligence (AI) and sustainability.

After years of supply chain disruptions, global tensions, and a recent drive to adopt AI, the survey indicates that the manufacturing industry is at an inflection point—poised between innovation, growth, and the drive to reduce costs and increase profitability, according to Fictiv.

Manufacturing leaders report economic headwinds (47%) as most impacting their 2024 strategy, as well as labor costs and shortages (39%). Other factors include increasing competition, increasing pressure to drive profitability, and changes in consumer behavior and spending.

For the third year, improving manufacturing and supply chain visibility (54%) is top priority for leaders, followed by increasing supply chain resilience and agility (48%).

Leaders remain excited by AI, and this year, the technology has become essential to companies in the manufacturing industry. Now, 88% of companies have implemented AI into their manufacturing and supply chains, and 84% of those implementations already provide value. 

Overall, prioritizing investments in sustainable manufacturing remains steady for a second year in a row, with 42% of respondents continuing to cite it as a priority, possibly because sustainability has been embedded into company values and practices (53%). 

“The last four years have redefined what a world-class operations or supply chain team needs to operate successfully in a tough economic environment,” says Dave Evans, co-founder and CEO of Fictiv. “It’s become the expectation for supply chain teams to decrease costs and get products to market faster, all while doing more with less due to lower expenses as companies push to profitability as their number one metric. With all the headwinds faced in navigating risks over the last four years, supply chain leaders have one of the world’s toughest jobs. Now, these leaders are battle-hardened and looking for efficiencies everywhere, turning to technology and regionalization strategies.”

Additional insights include:

  • AI and Hiring—87% of respondents agree that implementing AI into manufacturing is “…vital to my company’s future success.” Nearly half of companies say that AI has enabled them to reduce planned hiring, and 34% expect AI to impact hiring in the next two years. 
  • New Product Innovation—The focus on increasing the speed of innovation (45%) remains high, and reports of barriers to innovation have decreased across the board. In fact, the number of respondents reporting no barriers (15%) more than doubled since last year to its highest level in four years. 
  • Global Supply Chain—86% of respondents say global tensions are long-term planning considerations. However, while it is still important for U.S. manufacturers to on-shore (66%), this trend has fallen since last year (77%), even as diversifying global manufacturing operations have increased this year. 
  • Supply Chain Regionalization—Increasing U.S. manufacturing (on-shoring) remains the leading supply chain strategy for the third year (66%), yet it has fallen substantially since last year. At the same time, North American production (near-shoring) has increased again this year (53%).

Fictiv’s State of Manufacturing Report and survey were conducted using Dimensional Research. The report surveyed 178 Director-level decision-makers who work in engineering, supply chain, R&D, and digital innovation roles for companies that produce consumer electronics, medical devices, automotive, industrial and robotics, aerospace, or energy.

Download the full 2024 State of Manufacturing report here.

More Fictiv Coverage

Fictiv Company Profile

Share This Article

Subscribe to our FREE magazine, FREE email newsletters or both!

Join over 90,000 engineering professionals who get fresh engineering news as soon as it is published.

About the Author

DE Editors's avatar
DE Editors

DE’s editors contribute news and new product announcements to Digital Engineering.
Press releases may be sent to them via [email protected].

Follow DE