The Pulse on the
Manufacturing Sector | 2017

Needs from the Source

In March 2017, one third of the RI manufacturing sector attended the first ever Manufacturing B2B event (RIMFGB2B), created by Polaris MEP, with support from the U.S. Office of Economic Adjustment, Commerce RI, and the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association (RIMA). Out of the 403 exhibitors and attendees, nearly 40% of them took the Needs Survey.


Who Attended?


403
attendees

RIMFGB2B attendees icon


from 250
companies

RIMFGB2B companies icon

Who Participated?

Small
Companies

Fewer than 20 employees

Medium
Companies

21-50 employees

Large
Companies

More than 50 employees

Support
Organizations


RIMFGB2B voting illustration

152 manufacturing representatives voted with 5 votes each

Participants were presented with four large boards highlighting needs under four categories: Growth, Talent, New Product Development, and Operations. They were given five stickers based on their size company and asked to rank their highest needs / priorities.

This is what they told us

RI Manufacturer’s Priorities
All Votes

%

Growth

(marketing, sales,
financing, space)

%

Talent

(employee hiring,
development, and
retention)

%

New Product
Development

(R&D, prototyping, testing)

%

Operations

(Systems, processes,
supply chain)


Growth Needs

38%

Need help breaking into new markets

27%

Need help growing sales of existing products in established markets

20%

Need to understand new market applications of current capabilities


Of Note:


Small manufacturers are four times more likely to need access to capital.

Medium manufacturers are three times as likely to need bigger or better facilities.

Talent Needs

23%

Need to hire machine operators

22%

Need training for floor workers on new technology and to advance skills in technology

19%

Need to hire engineers


Of Note:


Medium manufacturers are twice as likely to need training on process improvement

New Product Development Needs

20%

Need people with strategic skills to develop our company

17%

Need people with technology background to drive our company forward

13%

Need to meet entrepreneurs with an idea that needs to be manufactured


Of Note:


1 in 4 small manufacturers want to meet entrepreneurs with product ideas.

1 in 5 large manufacturers want to meet designers who can help expand their opportunities.

Small and large companies are approximately 3x more focused on new product development than medium-sized manufacturers.

Operation Needs

13%

Need help with process flow for quality improvement

11%

Need help finding a material or parts supplier

8%

Need help with manufacturing engineering


Of Note:


44% of all operational needs relate to improving systems and processes. Small and medium manufacturers need quality improvement the most, whereas help with manufacturing engineering was highest need for large manufacturers.

Top Needs By Size – Overall

Small Businesses

Fewer than 20 employees

RIMFGB2B growth needs icon

#1
Growth

RIMFGB2B new product dev icon

#2
New Product Development

RIMFGB2B talent icon

#3
Talent

Learn More About Small Manufacturer Needs

Click Here for Small Manufacturer Needs Detailed Results


Medium Businesses

21 – 50 employees

RIMFGB2B talent icon

#1
Talent

RIMFGB2B growth needs icon

#2
Growth

RIMFGB2B operations needs icon

#3
Operations

Learn More About Medium Manufacturer Needs

Click Here for Medium Manufacturer Needs Detailed Results


Large Businesses

More than 50 employees

RIMFGB2B talent icon

#1
Talent

RIMFGB2B new product dev icon

#2
New Product Development

RIMFGB2B growth needs icon

#3
Growth

Learn More About Large Manufacturer Needs

Click Here for Large Manufacturer Needs Detailed Results

RIMFGB2B PDF Download Icon

Download the visualization to see the complete voting scores of each category.

Download Now

Created by Polaris MEP, with support from the U.S. Office of Economic Adjustment, Commerce RI, and RIMA.

Polaris MEP, RI Commerce, RIMA logos