A recent study indicates a sense of optimism within Canada’s manufacturing sector. The survey, “Canadian Manufacturing Outlook 2012: Push and Pull – Reducing Costs and Investing in Innovation,” is based on input from senior Canadian manufacturing executives and indicates a positive outlook across the industry.
According to StatsCan, manufacturing accounts for over 7 percent of the Canadian job market, and almost 13 percent of the GDP. The results report that the industry is confident: 85% of respondents reported having an optimistic or very optimistic business outlook, up 11 percent from the previous year, and about 10 percent higher than the global outlook.
The optimism translates into a recognized need and desire for innovation in the industry. Almost a quarter (23 percent) of respondents plan to develop new product lines, and 50 percent identify the requirement to increase productivity and efficiency as essential to remaining competitive. Over 60 percent of respondents predicted a phase of transformational innovation to be underway or occurring over the next 12 to 24 months.
“As smaller, niche players operating with a strong dollar, Canadian companies realize they need to innovate in order to compete. They know they have to focus on R&D to develop new products that are leading edge and keep them ahead of the curve; otherwise the lower-cost global producers will catch up with standardized products and outperform them on price.”
Canada’s manufacturing industry’s commitment to R&D is being punctuated by GM’s announcement of a $750 million commitment to R&D by 2016. The industry’s positive outlook follows a period of economic recovery, and to deal with the competitive nature of growth, the manufacturing sector should look to innovation.
Read the full report here.