Conditions for Manufacturers Not Serving Medical are Notably Different

In the most recent survey, there was a notable decrease in the percent of manufacturers serving the medical industry, 32% in the most recent week versus 41% the week prior. This seemed to have a significant impact on the results of the survey and indicated that those manufacturers not serving the medical industry were facing a different situation than those serving the medical industry.


During the week of April 13th, Gardner Intelligence conducted a survey to gauge the effects of COVID-19 on discrete parts manufacturers across all the industries that Gardner Business Media covers. The survey focuses on two basic questions:

  1. What changes has your business experienced as a result of COVID-19?
  2. What adjustments has your business made as a result of COVID-19?

For each of those questions, respondents were asked to compare the current state of their business to the norm prior to COVID-19 and rank the severity of the change or adjustment from minimal to moderate to major. To see all the charts from the most recent week, go here.

In the most recent survey, there was a notable decrease in the percent of manufacturers serving the medical industry, 32% in the most recent week versus 41% the week prior. This seemed to have a significant impact on the results of the survey and indicated that those manufacturers not serving the medical industry were facing a different situation than those serving the medical industry.

In the most recent survey, there was a significant increase in the percent of manufacturers experiencing standing orders either being postponed or canceled (61% versus 51%) and a change in business practices (46% versus 38%), such as payment terms, no POs, etc. All the other changes surveyed had a smaller percent of manufacturers experiencing them. It is likely that these other changes are down because there is less business taking place overall.

The change experienced in standing orders was somewhat more severe in the most recent week than the previous week as a slightly higher percent of manufacturers reported the impact as major. However, there was a notable decrease in the percent of manufacturers that reported the impact of changes in business practices as major. And there was a direct correlation in the increase of the percent of manufacturers indicating the change in business practices was minimal. Therefore, there was a softening in the impact of the change of business practices. A number of the other changes experienced had less of a major impact and more of a minimal impact.

Likely in response to the increased percent of manufacturers experiencing a change in the postponement or cancellation of orders, an increased percent of manufacturers made adjustments to budgets/spending, hiring/recruiting, training and manufacturing processes in the most recent week compared with the previous week. As orders were postponed or canceled, manufacturers responded by reducing expenses through the postponement of hiring. This, combined with staff reductions, has required an increase in training or cross-training. And it has necessitated changes in manufacturing processes.

The impact due to hiring/recruiting was less severe in the most recent week. However, the impact of adjustments to budgets/spending, training and manufacturing processes increased in severity. Even though there was little change in the percent of manufacturers adjusting production/capacity and staffing/headcount, the impact of those changes was more severe in the most recent week. The bottom line was that manufacturers found it harder to get work done in the most recent week.

With fewer manufacturers serving the medical industry responding to the most recent survey, there was a decrease in the percent of facilities open expanded or normal hours. This mostly resulted in an increase in facilities open with reduced hours although it did increase the percent of facilities that were closed too.

Similarly, there was a decrease in the percent of manufacturers operating with significantly increased staff and a very modest decrease in the percent of manufacturers operating with normal staff. The most significant change was the notable decrease in the percent of manufacturers operating with a moderately reduced staff and the even increase in the percent of manufacturers operating with a significantly reduced staff. While this is somewhat attributable to the reduction in orders, it might also reflect the reported difficulty of manufacturers accessing the Paycheck Protection Program.

Reports

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World Machine Tool Survey

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Gardner Business Index

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