STATEWIDE — Last year if you asked Indiana’s manufacturers what the biggest thing hampering their operations was they likely would have said the COVID pandemic. According to an annual survey, that’s not the case in 2022.
Every year, Katz, Sapper & Miller with the help of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and the Indiana Manufacturers Association, put together the Indiana Manufacturing Survey.
The main concerns that are causing Hoosier manufacturers problems this year are high demand and supply chain shortages.
“Essentially half, 47-percent, though it was due to material shortages, and the other 47-percent thought it was due to labor shortages,” said Mark Frohlich, associate professor of operations management at Indiana University to Inside Indiana Business.
The remaining 6-percent said their biggest issue is logistics; making sure materials are getting from one place to another in a timely manner.
The survey also shows that basically, every manufacturing operation in Indiana is dealing with the surge in inflation.
“67-percent of respondents this year did not believe that inflation is transitory, meaning it’s here to stay,” Frohlich added.
He said what makes it even more difficult for manufacturers now is that there is basically no one left in the industry that has dealt with high inflation before. Workers and managers from back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s who dealt with high inflation have all since retired.
Also, there is still a shortage of workers. Frohlich said the conversation has shifted to where the worry was that automation might replace jobs in the future. Now companies are seeing a need to accelerate automation in order to make up for the shortage of workers.