Industry Outlook: Manufacturing

This Industry Outlook is a portion of the 2017 Arizona CFO Spotlight Survey Report

2017 Arizona CFO Spotlight Survey logo

The 2017 CFO Spotlight Survey attracted respondents from a number of industries in Phoenix and Tucson. We will highlight the manufacturing segment here in terms of growth, risk factors, strengths and trends.


Just over half of manufacturing companies responding to the CFO Survey were in Tucson. Two-thirds of CFOs were optimistic about the state of their businesses, and felt more positive about the climate of the state and city compared to 2016. Only 8% believed that economic conditions were worse in their city 12 months ago, compared to 29% in 2016. Available skilled talent and tax incentives were on their minds to improve the business climate as well as fair cross-border trade. Competition and consumer confidence were fairly even concerns regarding manufacturing revenue in 2017. CFOs say prices will remain steady in this industry for the coming year just as in 2016.

infographic: showing 29% of CFOs believed economic conditions were worse than 12 months ago when responding in 2016 versus only 8% in 2017

With health care costs on the rise, 73% of manufacturers plan to pass on costs to employees. About 18% are also cutting spending in other areas. Flex plans are offered by 42% of CFOs surveyed. Of their new President, manufacturers said they wanted tax reform. About 58% of manufacturers are concerned about industry consolidation, resulting in a less diversified revenue base and increased pricing pressures. Concerns about environmental issues have gone way down in the past year among CFOs surveyed. While 86% cited some to great impact in 2016, that percentage was down to 25% for 2017.

infographic: showing 86% of responding CFOs were concerned about environmental issues in 2016 compared to 25% in 2017

AVERAGE SIZE: 185 employees
AVERAGE REVENUE: $24 million

CFO Says: “We haven't been historically innovative so we'll focus on being innovative with new products to compete.”


Revenue in 2017

Will increase significantly: 31%
Stay about the same: 38%

Optimism? 61% optimistic
38% somewhat uncertain
Access to Cash? Some concern
Border Security? Very little impact
Environmental Issues? Not really
Millennials? Maybe


Top Areas of Focus:

New Product Launches
Business Planning
International Market Influence
Alternative Training
Owner Retirement/Transition

About 8% of CFOs surveyed in manufacturing say they provide allowances for religious differences in their companies, or about 1 in 12.

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Eric Majchrzak
Eric Majchrzak

Eric Majchrzak is a shareholder and chief strategy officer of BeachFleischman PC.