APICS is the premier professional association for supply chain management.

Small Manufacturers Seeing Higher Demand, Equipment Investment

by APICS Staff | N/A 2012 | 12 | 12

In a hopeful sign for the economy, small manufacturers that produce machines and components for other manufacturers are seeing an upswing in business, the Associated Press reports. Sectors fueling demand vary in range and include medical device makers seeing growth due to aging baby boomers; oil and gas producers supplying energy to developing economies such as China and India; and aerospace manufacturers building specialized, fuel-efficient aircraft and engines. The industries seeing growth have two things in common: They are expected to continue getting bigger and are investing in expensive machinery. 

Industrial and materials manufacturers experienced a 37 percent increase in big equipment purchases in 2011, according to data from PayNet, a company that tracks lending to small businesses.

The boom for small manufacturers may seem at odds with the economy, which is experiencing sluggish job growth. But investments in manufacturing equipment suggest that companies are becoming confident. Additionally, the investments rely on bank loans__evidence that lenders also feel secure. Anthony Cracchiolo, president of equipment finance at US Bank, says that by the end of 2012, this type of lending is expected to be at 90 percent of prerecession levels, and recovery among manufacturers will reach other parts of the economy. His company’s manufacturing vendor services division is up 15 percent this year, while last year’s lending was up 26 percent from 2010.

Counterfeit Drugs Now a $75 Billion Business

The growth of e-commerce has led to a rapid increase in counterfeit drug sales worldwide, AFP reports. Illegal drugs are believed to amount to about $75 billion annually, and about 90 percent of counterfeit drugs are marketed and sold on the internet, says Scott Davis, Asia security expert at Pfizer. 

Websites that sell fake drugs usually do not have physical addresses and exploit weak or unclear customs regulations to achieve sales. These drug makers and vendors “are getting more sophisticated,” as law enforcement officials find it increasingly more difficult to identify fake drugs, Davis says. “We often have to send the pills to our labs to tell us the difference,” he adds.

Pfizer’s own anti-impotence drug Viagra, as well as Eli Lilly’s Cialis are among the most-counterfeited drugs. However, more vital drugs, including anti-malaria medicines, are increasingly counterfeited. 

China is responsible for manufacturing most fake pharmaceuticals, followed by Jordan, the United States, Israel, and Canada.

UK Manufacturing Policy Getting a Boost

The United Kingdom is experiencing a much-heralded rebalancing of its economy toward manufacturing, the Financial Times reports. Data from economics consultancy IHS Global Insight indicate the proportion of output from factory production has risen in both of the last two years. Manufacturing output comprised 12.6 percent of the UK gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011, compared to 12.2 percent and 11.6 percent in 2010 and 2009, respectively. The recent upward movement goes against the trend of the past 50 years, where factory output as a portion of the economy decreased. 

Steve Radley, head of policy at EEF, an organization that supports manufacturing in the United Kingdom, says the data indicate several factors that boost manufacturing, including resilient factory investment, lower prices of silver, and beneficial government policies. “The momentum may be starting to build,” Radley says. Higher manufacturing sector productivity also is supporting growth. 

According to IHS Global Insight, other European countries also raised their manufacturing percentage of GDP. Germany went to 22.3 percent in 2011 from 21.1 percent in 2010, while France’s figures were 10.9 percent in 2011 from 10.7 percent in 2010.

e-News Solutions

APICS North American Seminar Series

This year, APICS offers a series of seminars to bring the APICS body of knowledge to communities across North America.

Find a seminar near you or travel to the one-day seminar that meets your educational needs. See below for a list of seminars:

2012 APICS International Conference & Expo

2012 APICS International Conference & Expo 
October 14–16, 2012
Denver, Colorado, USA
Colorado Convention Center

APICS 2012 registration discount and the 2012 Leadership Summit
Registration for the 2012 APICS International Conference & Expo is now open. The conference will be held October 14-16, 2012 in Denver, Colorado, USA. The theme of APICS 2012 is Elevate supply chain performance: Value creation through market alignment and integration.

Visit the APICS 2012 website and register today!

Webinars On Demand Available

APICS Extra Live: Solving Supply Chain Disruptions―Beyond the tactical
Watch the webinar now.

APICS Extra Live: Strategic Imperatives for Improving Supply Networks
Watch the webinar now.

APICS Extra Live:
 Real-World Strategies for Improving Operational Efficiency
Watch the webinar now

APICS Extra Live: Racing Toward Operational Success with Kaizen
Watch the webinar now

APICS Extra Live: The People Factor in Supply Chain Excellence 
Watch the webinar now

APICS Members-Only Webinar: Operations Management Résumé Benchmarking Survey Résumé Structure and Organization
Watch this webinar now. 

APICS Extra Live: Advancing Your Supply Chain with Foreign-Trade Zones 
Watch this webinar now

APICS Extra Live: Merchandising for a Lean Supply Chain 
Watch this webinar now

APICS Extra Live: Keep Projects Flowing with Visual Project Management 
Watch this webinar now

APICS Members-Only Webinar: Résumé Formatting Best Practices

Watch this webinar now.

Purchase APICS supply chain risk and supply chain strategy folios 

Assess risk, develop your organization’s supply chain strategy, and understand how you can successfully implement or grow your organization’s sales and operational planning process with APICS folios.

$19.95 APICS member - Save 50%
$39.95 nonmember 

NEW! APICS Supply Chain Sustainability Folio: Uncovering the Triple Bottom Line

Supply chain and operations management professionals are increasingly called on to carry the torch of innovation to reduce costs, demands on resources, and waste; while increasing the reuse of existing assets, and enabling lean operations. Employing sustainable practices is critical to meeting these business needs.

APICS Supply Chain Strategy Folio: Make the Most of Supply Chain Strategy
Understand challenges and identify areas where senior management and operations management can work together to maximize the effectiveness of your supply chain strategy. Access this APICS folio to delve into critical supply chain functions and tasks that may not be effectively supporting your supply chain strategy.

APICS Supply Chain Risk Folio: Protect your Business with Risk Management
Mitigate and anticipate supply chain risks at your organization—from rising and falling demand to natural disasters, market uncertainty, and varying levels of trust among supply chain partners. Purchase this APICS folio to identify tools to deal with risk at your organization.

APICS S&OP Folio: How to Be an S&OP Champion
Predicting the future generally is thought impossible; yet, S&OP users seek to do just that by strategically directing businesses to achieve competitive advantage. Purchase this APICS folio to understand how you can enable your organization’s bottom-line effectiveness with S&OP.

Access APICS career development resources
Use APICS career packs to understand your career path and next steps, evaluate candidate qualifications, or establish consistency across your organization's hiring.

Free! APICS member
$29.95 nonmember 

  • Individuals seeking to advance in one of the career pack job title areas can evaluate their knowledge and skills, plan their next steps, and identify areas for improvement and growth.
  • Hiring managers seeking qualified candidates can identify specific knowledge, skills, and experience required when evaluating prospective employees and building job descriptions.
  • Organizations interested in developing their workforce can create consistency and establish required competencies for individuals in each of the career pack job title areas. 

APICS career packs:

For each job title, APICS career packs compile essential information to help you understand the job role, including

  • career path information
  • core competencies required of qualified candidates
  • job descriptions and keywords
  • how to use job titles and descriptions.

Download the APICS members-only report 2011 S&OP Practices and Challenges and purchase the APICS Folio: How to Be an S&OP Champion  
Predicting the future generally is thought impossible; yet, S&OP users seek to do just that by strategically directing businesses to achieve competitive advantage, and—more and more—are expected to do so to enable their employers' bottom line profitability.

Supply chain professionals: Take the APICS CSCP Learning System Free Demo today 
By earning the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designation, you will demonstrate significant commitment to your profession and your career, distinguish yourself as an industry expert, and excel with your newly acquired specialized knowledge.

APICS CPIM exam study options
APICS offers a variety of study options to help candidates prepare for the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) exams and enables them to choose the option that matches their preferred learning method.

Instructor-led courses
For students who learn best in a classroom-based environment, there are instructor-led courses.
Find courses at your local APICS chapter or find an APICS partner outside North America to find courses in your area.

Online certification review courses
Online courses are ideal for professionals who enjoy taking a structured class, but need more flexibility.
Other APICS self-study options
APICS offers a wide variety of tools for candidates interested in studying on their own, including the
  • APICS CPIM Exam Content Manual
  • APICS CPIM practice questions
  • APICS CPIM study notes.

All comments will be published pending approval. Read the APICS Comment Policy.