The story of manufacturing in the United States is not a universal one. With different regions producing unique and various items on their own to suit local industries, any variance on the businesses these shops and factories support will no doubt impact operations. One strategy that will help deal with local fluctuations in the market is to use ERP software such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 to maintain a high level of efficiency. Still, it's important to consider that the recovery can be uneven, and while certain sectors are thriving, others are not.
The good side of things
In many areas of the country, manufacturing is going about at a strong clip. Consider what is happening in Illinois. According to Manufacturers' News, their state Manufacturers Directory showed that the state gained 2,397 workers in the industry over a period of 12 months by November 2015. It brings the total to 810,503 people employed in the sector. Illinois has long been vilified by many as having high costs for running a shop and facing competition from states with lax labor laws and more favorable business conditions.
However, it's important to remember that Illinois remains a very productive state in the business, so any gains can be considered a positive for the U.S. More importantly, the survey suggested that while workers were being moved out of state to bordering places like Indiana and Kentucky, the rate is slowing down. Helping matters, according to the report, is Chicago's rise as a tech hub through several key initiatives. That is drawing people to the state for manufacturing high tech gear and equipment.
The downside to cheap oil
On the other hand, Texas is suffering a rut in its manufacturing industry. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, monitoring the industries in the state, released a report indicating a significant decline in output for the month of Feb. 2015. Current business activity fell to -11.2, the lowest since 2013 and far lower than the expected drop of around -4.
The major reason for this, as Business Insider notes, is oil. The cost of West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the primary petroleum source in the state, recently dropped to $48, the lowest it has been since 2009. While this is great for consumers at the gas pump, it pushes oil companies to stop drilling and extract as much as possible. In turn, this has led to manufacturers that provide goods to them such as pipes and drills to cut back on orders and lay off employees. ERP software may be able to soften the blow by making things more efficient.
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