A survey shows some bright spots in the state’s manufacturing sector. While there’s lots of discouraging news, Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership does an annual report with companies they assist. “Most of the time or attention has been spent in survival, but most of the progressive companies are also investing in ways to to expand market share and become better, even while they’re looking to keep the company afloat,” says WMEP president Mike Klonsinski.
“All of our customers are surveyed at the end of each year, for the impact in terms of sales and jobs,” says Klonsinski. “We had 176 companies that were surveyed and reported about $118 million in increased or retained sales, and almost 800 jobs created and retained as a result of their investments and work with WMEP.”
There’s no denying the impact that job losses at GM, Chrysler, Harley-Davidson and perhaps Mercury Marine are having on the state’s manufacturing sector, but Klonsinski also sees some reason for optimism. “We’re already seeing some manufacturers that are bringing back people that had been laid off, or even looking to add jobs, because they’re both anticipating and seeing some new orders.”
Klonsinski says companies that focus on tapping new markets and improving productivity will realize the biggest benefits as the economy recovers. “Companies that are looking forward today, both in terms of tapping new markets and improving productivity, are the ones that are going to realize the biggest benefits.”