The LEA Manufacturing Steering Group oversees the development of this annual report. It is made up of members from the following firms:

  • ABBB
  • Anders CPAs + Advisors
  • Bennett Thrasher LLP
  • Blue & Co., LLC
  • KPM CPAs & Advisors
  • LBMC
  • Lutz
  • PKF Texas
  • Schenck SC
  • William Vaughan Company

More than 450 manufacturing executives participated in the survey, which includes the opinions of respondents who produce industrial/machining, transportation/automotive, construction, food and beverage, and other products.

 4 Strategies to Leverage:

  • Share with local media.
  • Present to industry organizations/associations.
  • Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose.
  • Send to clients and prospects.


A Leading Look Ahead

The good news is that manufacturers are rightly optimistic about their own performance and that of the industry and economy as a whole in 2018. We share their optimism and celebrate with the “makers” in our communities that have for too long faced challenging dynamics and troubling trends that dampen the opportunity for their success. This does not, however, mean that hurdles will not exist in the coming year. Some of those hurdles may become even more significant with economic and industry growth and tax changes:

  • While the wage differential between American and foreign workers has shrunk, global growth likely means more competition from manufacturers across borders. 
  • Increased hiring by manufacturers may help stimulate more interest in skilled labor professions, but this also results in increased wage costs. 
  • Technology development, an opportunity and a challenge for many manufacturers, will not slow in the coming year. Research has shown that cyber threats are increasing for both manufacturers and small and medium-sized businesses. 
  • Businesses must continue to identify opportunities and utilize employee intellect, creativity, and commitment to develop and implement strategic plans and processes that will lead to success in 2018 and beyond. 
  • Tax reform may bring losses (in terms of eliminated credits and deductions) as well as gains (in terms of lower rates). One certainty is that it brings the need for dramatically different tax planning and compliance.

Through all these potential changes, and more, having a team of industry experienced advisors providing you insight and answers is critically important. We believe the firms of the Leading Edge Alliance are among the best. While no one can predict with certainty what will happen in the future, we hope our annual National Manufacturing Outlook and Insights survey report offers you a leading look ahead.

Click here to view full report on their website. For more information on how these results relate to you and your business, please contact us at or call 973-994-9400.

*Wiss & Company is an affiliate of LEA, the second largest global accounting network in the world. 


Reach out to a Wiss team member for more information or assistance.

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