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Industrials business trends, issues and insights

Services and resources for the automotive, energy and manufacturing sectors

RSM understands the ongoing issues that business leaders in the industrials space must face. From innovation to expansion, cyberthreats to profitability challenges, pressures on industrials companies come from all directions. Such pressures affect all segments of the industry—automotive, energy, chemicals, general manufacturing, distribution and more. How C-suite executives respond to these issues will shape their companies’ fortunes and, collectively, the landscape of the U.S. industrials industry.

In domestic and global markets, the challenges can be especially daunting for middle market industrials companies. Internal resources may not have enough familiarity with some issues that are critical to the needs of the company. But a closer look at key issues and trends can often be the bridge that transforms challenges into opportunities. Here are some of the areas where RSM can provide helpful insights for industry leaders:

Industrials Insights

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  • Revenue growth and profitability: Industrials companies seek to differentiate themselves through value-added products, tailored customer experiences and streamlined operations that can deliver products to market faster than the competition. Companies must also control their materials and labor expenses, and squeeze inefficiencies out of their supply chains.
  • Global expansion: As part of their growth strategies, many middle market industrials companies need to evaluate their role in the international marketplace. When businesses enter new markets and source production and raw materials abroad, they face challenges including international taxation, differences in business culture, new economies and regulatory issues.
  • Risk management: Managing internal and external risks involves navigating a range of issues—currencies, commodities, regulations, cybersecurity and global political disruption, to name a few. There are many ways businesses can adapt to these risks; some, for instance, may hedge key materials to mitigate the risk of price fluctuations. Others might invest in automation to deal with rising labor costs.
  • Industry 4.0: Effective technology enables companies to capture insights that can improve the customer experience (e.g., ordering, configuring and shipping), reduce costs, automate processes and increase efficiency. By prioritizing innovation, industrials companies can differentiate themselves to attract and retain customers. 
  • Workforce: To keep up with the advancement and integration of technology, industrials companies need to attract a skilled workforce. With fewer young people looking to manufacturing as a viable career direction, a lack of skilled workers limits growth and profitability.