Plant Magazine Manufacturers' Outlook 2014Each year, PLANT Magazine surveys Senior Executives from Canada’s manufacturing industry for their annual Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey.

For the 2014 survey (sponsored by Grant Thornton), 450 senior executives across Canada were polled about their confidence in the future, export plans, business challenges, and plans for growth.

I attended Grant Thorton’s First Person Series yesterday in Saint John, New Brunswick, where Jim Menzies discussed the survey results.  I also picked up a copy of the published report and want to share a few of the results with you here.

A key takeaway from the 2014 survey is that Canadian manufacturers are confident about their future and believe their industry is in growth mode.

On average, manufacturers anticipate an additional $4.5 million in revenues this year over 2013. The additional revenue is predicted to come from increased orders (64%), increased sales value (62%), higher profits (44%) and increased prices (32%).

Current Sources of Revenue

Of the 450 manufacturers surveyed, on average 62% of their revenue comes from Canada, 27% from the United States, 1.9% from China and 1.4% from Mexico.

Entry into New Markets

The top markets that Canadian manufacturers plan to enter in the next three years are the US (40%), Canada (39%), Mexico (16%), Brazil (13%) and other south/central American countries (13%).

Business Growth

Forty percent strongly agree that pursuing North American markets is a priority over global markets; and 56% cite pursuing North American customers as major growth strategy.

Twenty-one percent have a growth plan that involves entering foreign markets. Twelve percent noted online marketing, social media and search engine optimization as components of their growth strategy. Ten percent plan to export products/services directly into new markets.

If you’d like to read the entire publication, and full break-down of results, it’s available for download here: Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey 2014.