Xometry, the largest on-demand manufacturing marketplace, released its quarterly Small Manufacturing Index this week. It found that despite the current market data indicating a contraction in American manufacturing, Xometry’s Manufacturing Partners continue to be optimistic about their growth potential in Q4 2019 and next year.
The Small Manufacturing Index is a quarterly report that takes the pulse of small and mid-sized manufacturing businesses. Manufacturers surveyed included internal respondents, those in Xometry’s Partner Network, and external respondents, retail, industrial, and custom part manufacturers.
The survey concluded that 57% of Xometry Manufacturing Partners anticipate growth in Q4 2019, down from 67% in Q1. Even with a decline, more of Xometry Partners anticipate growth than manufacturers who are not Xometry Partners (47%). The survey also established that 64% of Xometry’s Partners anticipate year-over-year growth, down from 70% in Q1, whereas 50% of external respondents anticipate YOY growth.
“We’re pleased to see that Xometry Manufacturing Partners are more confident in their 2019 growth than the broader market,” said Xometry Co-founder and Chief Financial Officer Laurence Zuriff.
The ability to find skilled employees remains a concern for Manufacturers. 57% of Xometry Partners noted the difficulty in finding skilled employees to hire in Q4. Finding skilled employees has been a concern all year; in Q1’s Small Manufacturing Index Report, 60% of Xometry Partners reported that finding skilled employees impacted their hiring efforts in Q2.
50% of respondents surveyed indicate that the cost of materials is impacting their business this quarter. Xometry Partners have access to Xometry’s latest venture, Xometry Supplies which launched in January 2019. Supplies was established to ensure the manufacturers were able to source industrial materials and tooling in an efficient and cost-effective way.
The Small Manufacturing Index, released quarterly by Xometry, takes the pulse of American manufacturing by analyzing and quantifying the performance of small- to mid-sized manufacturers. The index is developed through a survey that asks participants whether they expect to see growth and hiring in business plans compared to previous months and prior years. The index aims to highlight trends over time to provide analysis and predictions on the national outlook for small- to mid-size manufacturers.