Industry Outlook 2018: Manufacturing

This Industry Outlook is a portion of the 2018 Arizona CFO Spotlight Survey Report

2018 Arizona CFO Spotlight Survey logo

The 2018 Arizona 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 Spotlight Survey are in Tucson, with a little over one-third in Phoenix. Revenue is on the upswing, according to these leaders, with 36% believing their revenue will "increase significantly" compared to 31% in 2017. Almost 64% anticipate slight increases, which bodes well for manufacturing growth in Arizona. Uncertainty has dropped off with all CFOs expressing optimism for business. Compared to 2016, when 29% said economic conditions in their city were "worse than 12 months ago," all respondents are optimistic about the economic climate in the state and their respective cities. Prices will stay mainly the same in manufacturing, with about 27% planning a price increase. Despite this optimism, almost 63% of CFOs in this year's Survey believe the Trump administration will have a "negative impact" on the business climate in Arizona.

About 33% of CFOs surveyed in manufacturing say pricing pressures are a tremendous concern in the coming year.

Half of leaders are concerned about border security and immigration policy, and all of them have at least some concern about pricing pressures in their industry. Equipment costs and high utility costs are on their minds along with increased costs with minimum wage and sick leave policies. About one-third of manufacturers in the Survey have plans to reduce vacation time and likely reduce some full-time equivalent staffing, which contrasts the intense need for skilled labor across industries. Automation and artificial intelligence are perceived as long-term answers to labor shortages along with providing attractive benefits and compensation. The industry is delving into flexible schedules, but mainly focuses on traditional benefits like health care benefits, retirement funding, compensation and training.

CFO says:

"The biggest focus for my organization in the next 12 months is growth with global customers."

Average Revenue

$106 Million

Average Number of Employees


Revenue in 2018

  • 36% Will increase significantly 36%
  • 64% Will increase slightly 64%

Top Areas of Focus

  • Pricing structures
  • Communication/culture
  • New management teams
  • Technology advancements
  • Global customers/talent


55% very optimistic
45% somewhat optimistic

Access to Cash?

no concern, compared to 2017

Border Security/Immigration?

50/50 concerned/not concerned

Environmental Issues?

more concerned than 2017


increasing culture shift/new leadership tracks

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Eric Majchrzak
Eric Majchrzak

Eric Majchrzak is CEO and a Principal of BeachFleischman. He joined BeachFleischman in 2012 and is responsible for the firm’s overall strategic direction while ensuring the mission, vision, and values are met.