June 3, 2024 | Press Release

West Monroe Research: Mid-Market Manufacturing Executives Bullish on M&A and AI

West Monroe Research: Mid-Market Manufacturing Executives Bullish on M&A and AI

Survey highlights the industry’s transition from supply chain resilience to a new era of technology innovation and workforce redesign

CHICAGO, June 3, 2024—West Monroe, a global business and technology consulting firm, today released its latest signature research report, "The State of Manufacturing: From Resilience to Resurgence." The report, released in conjunction with the firm’s presence at the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s Rethink 2024 conference in Marco Island, Fla., finds that the industry’s focus on supply chain resilience and production continuity in recent years is transitioning to a new era of significant technology innovation and M&A activity. 

One of the most dominating statistics from the survey of 150 C-suite executives at middle-market manufacturing companies: 9 in 10 executives anticipate increased M&A activity in the manufacturing sector in the coming year. That’s after nearly half (48%) said they did not pursue any buy-side M&A activity in the past 12 months due to high interest rates.
Other top findings include:

  • AI and ML are the top tech: AI and machine learning will be the top technology in the sector over the next 12 months, according to executives. 
  • Workforce structure is changing: Manufacturers are reevaluating their overall workforce structure and operations, with 49% adopting alternative workforce models.

“Over the past four years, the manufacturing industry has been putting out fires, from unprecedented supply chain disruptions to labor disputes. Now, with some level of stability they can focus on innovation for growth, using new technology and M&A,” said Randal Kenworthy, leader of the consumer & industrial products industry segment at West Monroe.

Embracing transformative technologies like AI, ML, data analytics and automation sets the stage for a resilient and prosperous future. Now is the time for manufacturers to discern their top priorities for the years ahead, ensuring a seamless transition and long-term success.


“The State of Manufacturing: From Resilience to Resurgence” surveyed 150-C suite executives at manufacturers with revenues between $500 million and $1 billion. The survey was conducted in Q1 of 2024 by The Bliss Group and Rep Data, an independent marketing research firm, on behalf of West Monroe.

West Monroe’s Consumer & Industrial Products group partners with leading manufacturers from strategy to execution, specializing in Industry 4.0, supply chain optimization and workforce transformation. The firm partners with over 400 clients including Tropicana, Jacuzzi Brands, Nutrien, Skechers, Berlin Packaging, Babcock & Wilcox, SunMed, and many more.

To learn more about the research and how West Monroe helps manufacturers succeed while at MLC Rethink, visit West Monroe’s booth or attend a speaking session.

More information can be found at: https://manufacturingleadershipcouncil.com/events/rethink-2024/.

To download the research, visit: https://www.westmonroe.com/perspectives/signature-research/the-state-of-manufacturing-from-resilience-to-resurgence.


About West Monroe

West Monroe is a global business and technology consulting firm that partners with clients to accelerate value through technology. We stand out by not just working for, but with our clients—engaging in the journey of co-creation and aligning our goals with theirs. Our expertise spans industry, strategy, people, process, and technology, ensuring rapid and impactful outcomes. Our employee ownership structure and mindset drive this mutual success. We are consistently celebrated as a top workplace by Fortune and USA Today, and as a leading consultancy by Forbes and Forrester. Learn how we can help accelerate your business at WestMonroe.com.

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