Manufacturers, Distributors Still Optimistic, Survey Shows

Jan. 21, 2014
Companies focus on capturing opportunities despite economic obstacles; plus news from Avnet, TTI, element14 and more

Consultant CliftonLarsonAllen’s third annual survey of U.S. manufacturers and distributors shows that many organizations are on the road to a positive future despite the slow economic recovery. Survey results point to healthy and sustainable organizations by using what the firm calls The Value Triangle, which focuses in on four dimensions:  financial, growth, execution, and leadership.

“The attitude and mindset of the leaders we surveyed focuses on capturing opportunities instead of dwelling on things that cannot be controlled,” Eric Skie, manufacturing and distribution managing principal with CliftonLarsonAllen explains.  “The industry has moved beyond the Great Recession and is now shaping its own future.”

Of the more than 100 survey respondents, 75% were privately held and family-owned businesses, 54% had two to five owners, and 27% were one-owner organizations. The financial dimension yielded positive responses, with 70% of respondents saying they are at or above pre-recession profitability levels. Forty percent reported that the average age of accounts has increased, while about the same number said they have stayed the same. In addition, those surveyed say that working capital requirements (including inventory) and the availability of credit have not caused problems with growth in the past two years.

Despite the improvements, economic uncertainty remains a concern. Workforce challenges persist, as well.

“The need for skilled workers coincides with an expansion in manufacturing, but the inability to fill skilled positions could ultimately hold manufacturers back from their full growth potential,” Skie says, adding that the resiliency and leadership that has brought manufacturers and distributors through the Great Recession shows they will move forward.

In other electronics industry news:

  • Avnet Electronics Marketing has launched a new series of training seminars for designers of embedded applications based on the Xilinx® Zynq®-7000 All Programmable SoC. The half-day technical sessions will be presented around the world by Avnet experts in conjunction with Xilinx, Inc., Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) and MathWorks.
  • Avnet also announced that registration is open for college students across the nation to compete in both the Arizona Onsite and Spring Virtual Avnet Tech Games. The events help students prepare for real-world business opportunities and compete for a chance to win scholarships.
  • Manufacturer Coilcraft launched a new design tool app for smart phones. The free RF and Power Inductor Finder App lets users quickly select the best inductor for their design and order free evaluation samples, all from their mobile phone.
  • Distributor element14 launched a new video series designed to help designers get up-to-speed on using the credit-card size Raspberry Pi programming computer.
  • Mouser Electronics signed a distribution agreement with Axiomtek to supply their extensive offering of single board computers, industrial motherboards, and embedded systems. 
  • TTI, Inc. was recently awarded the 2013 Global Distributor of the Year Award from Molex. The award recognizes outstanding partners that demonstrate growth in global sales coupled with customer service, operational, and management excellence.


University of Industrial Distribution
March 9-12, 2014
Indianapolis, Ind.

CARTS International
March 31 – April 4, 2014
Santa Clara, Calif.

ISM Supply Chain Diversity Summit
February 26-28
San Francisco

May 5-8
Las Vegas

We want to hear from you. Send your news to [email protected].

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Supply Chain Connect, create an account today!