Skip to content Skip to footer

Loading Results

Manufacturing COO Pulse Survey

What’s next in manufacturing: The latest executive insights on the future of the industry

Reinventing manufacturing for a changed world

Over the past year, manufacturing firms have faced unprecedented disruption. Rapid, daunting change caused by the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in accelerated digitalisation, increased occurrence of cyber attacks, and transformed consumer behavior. For manufacturers, the pandemic has revealed weaknesses across their end-to-end activities—and highlighted the need for greater resilience and agility.

Amid such a turbulent backdrop, we wanted to know—what does the future of manufacturing look like? So we asked. In PwC’s COO Pulse Survey, we reveal the plans and priorities of global manufacturing executives from 585 large companies as they look ahead. To review the findings, use our interactive tool below and discover what manufacturing leaders are doing today to rethink and reconfigure for a stronger tomorrow. I hope you enjoy exploring the survey, and I invite you to contact us to learn more.

Anil Khurana
Global Industrial Manufacturing & Automotive Leader

Click on the questions below to explore a sampling of our survey findings and filter the insights by sector, geography, and business size.

Q1. Which of the following areas of vulnerability will require the most cybersecurity improvement over the next 6 months and over the next 1-2 years?

The cybersecurity imperative

Cybersecurity in manufacturing is no longer a nice-to-have. In the wake of a substantial rise in cyber attacks during the pandemic, manufacturers are experiencing a sense of urgency to increase preparedness against targeted digital intrusions. Where will manufacturers make improvements to their cybersecurity systems? Our data reveals that connected systems and devices—as well as manufacturing facilities and equipment—top the list of the most unprotected areas.

Click the + sign below the answers to expand the data and see additional sector-specific feedback from manufacturing executives.

Click the tabs for sector, geography, and business size. Then use the drop-down menu below to dive deeper into the data. The figures shown represent the percentage of manufacturing executives who provided that answer.

  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx

Get in touch to discuss the full findings or how PwC can help.

Q1. Which of the following areas of vulnerability will require the most cybersecurity improvement? (by industry)
Select sector All Aerospace & defence Automotive Consumer goods Electronics and technology Energy, utilities, resources Engineering and construction Health industries manufacturing Industrial manufacturing and equipment
IoT and embedded systems and devices 48% 48% 57% 40% 40% 58% 47% 51% 43%
R&D and planning tools and facilities 36% 40% 42% 16% 58% 31% 22% 36% 34%
Manufacturing facilities, plant, and equipment 33% 41% 39% 31% 13% 24% 36% 31% 32%
Q1. Which of the following areas of vulnerability will require the most cybersecurity improvement? (by country)
Select country China Germany Japan UK US
IoT and embedded systems and devices 41% 53% 34% 47% 59%
R&D and planning tools and facilities 39% 35% 42% 39% 30%
Manufacturing facilities, plant, and equipment 31% 43% 28% 25% 37%
Q1. Which of the following areas of vulnerability will require the most cybersecurity improvement? (by size)
Select business size $1 billion to $4.99 billion $5 billion and over $250 million to $999 million
IoT and embedded systems and devices 51% 51% 43%
R&D and planning tools and facilities 32% 40% 37%
Manufacturing facilities, plant, and equipment 36% 34% 29%
Q1. Which of the following areas of vulnerability will require the most cybersecurity improvement? (Aerospace)
Country/business size China Germany Japan UK US $1 billion to $4.99 billion $5 billion and over $250 million to $999 million
IoT and embedded systems and devices 40% 50% 30% 40% 63% 55% 34% 64%
R&D and planning tools and facilities 45% 40% 35% 45% 38% 42% 39% 39%
Manufacturing facilities, plant, and equipment 30% 55% 40% 35% 43% 52% 36% 39%
Q1. Which of the following areas of vulnerability will require the most cybersecurity improvement? (Automotive)
Country/business size China Germany Japan UK US $1 billion to $4.99 billion $5 billion and over $250 million to $999 million
IoT and embedded systems and devices 50% 50% 45% 65% 65% 56% 63% 51%
R&D and planning tools and facilities 40% 45% 45% 55% 33% 40% 43% 43%
Manufacturing facilities, plant, and equipment 30% 55% 25% 40% 43% 37% 50% 30%
Q1. Which of the following areas of vulnerability will require the most cybersecurity improvement? (IM)
Country/business size China Germany Japan UK US $1 billion to $4.99 billion $5 billion and over $250 million to $999 million
IoT and embedded systems and devices 35% 50% 15% 50% 55% 50% 50% 33%
R&D and planning tools and facilities 40% 25% 50% 30% 30% 24% 46% 37%
Manufacturing facilities, plant, and equipment 50% 30% 20% 10% 40% 33% 36% 28%

Q2. Which manufacturing platforms, technologies, and tools is your company prioritising over the next 6 months and over the next 1-2 years?

Next generation manufacturing systems

To operate more effectively during the pandemic—and in the digital-first world that will follow it—manufacturers across industries have been sharpening their focus on new systems and technologies. Which platforms and tools are manufacturers betting on for the years ahead? Our data shows that both cloud and IoT will continue as mainstays of manufacturing technology in the short-term, while the longer-term horizon will find manufacturers prioritising threat-map dashboards to track cyber risks.

Click the + sign below the answers to expand the data and see additional sector-specific feedback from manufacturing executives.

Click the tabs for sector, geography, and business size. Then use the drop-down menu below to dive deeper into the data. The figures shown represent the percentage of manufacturing executives who provided that answer.

  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx

Get in touch to discuss the full findings or how PwC can help.

Q2. Which manufacturing platforms, technologies, and tools is your company prioritising? (by industry)
Select sector All Aerospace & defence Automotive Consumer goods Electronics and technology Energy, utilities, resources Engineering and construction Health industries manufacturing Industrial manufacturing and equipment
IoT 70% 83% 64% 67% 71% 53% 69% 60% 74%
Public and private cloud 59% 68% 57% 58% 56% 53% 51% 58% 58%
Robotic process automation 51% 56% 53% 49% 56% 53% 42% 47% 46%
Q2. Which manufacturing platforms, technologies, and tools is your company prioritising? (by country)
Select Country China Germany Japan UK US
IoT 68% 76% 65% 75% 68%
Public and private cloud 52% 71% 41% 65% 63%
Robotic process automation 61% 49% 51% 50% 46%
Q2. Which manufacturing platforms, technologies, and tools is your company prioritising? (by size)
Select business size $1 billion to $4.99 billion $5 billion and over $250 million to $999 million
IoT 74% 67% 69%
Public and private cloud 58% 59% 59%
Robotic process automation 47% 54% 51%
Q2. Which manufacturing platforms, technologies, and tools is your company prioritising? (aerospace)
Country/business size China Germany Japan UK US $1 billion to $4.99 billion $5 billion and over $250 million to $999 million
IoT 90% 85% 95% 75% 78% 87% 80% 85%
Public and private cloud 65% 80% 65% 60% 70% 65% 70% 70%
Robotic process automation 80% 40% 60% 55% 50% 52% 59% 55%
Q2. Which manufacturing platforms, technologies, and tools is your company prioritising? (Automotive)
Country/business size China Germany Japan UK US $1 billion to $4.99 billion $5 billion and over $250 million to $999 million
IoT 60% 70% 50% 85% 60% 63% 57% 73%
Public and private cloud 50% 75% 30% 60% 65% 53% 68% 51%
Robotic process automation 55% 60% 60% 45% 48% 49% 57% 51%
Q2. Which manufacturing platforms, technologies, and tools is your company prioritising? (IM)
Country/business size China Germany Japan UK US $1 billion to $4.99 billion $5 billion and over $250 million to $999 million
IoT 70% 75% 55% 75% 85% 87% 71% 63%
Public and private cloud 50% 75% 50% 75% 50% 61% 43% 65%
Robotic process automation 40% 70% 45% 40% 53% 41% 54% 46%

Q3. Which changes in B2B and B2C customer needs and behaviors will have the biggest impact on your business over the next 6 months and over the next 1-2 years?

The impact of changing customer needs

As COVID-19 changed the world, customer needs changed as well. The pandemic has transformed consumer priorities, behaviors and digital expectations, forcing manufacturers to rethink how they work. Which shifts in customer preferences do manufacturers expect to impact them the most in the years to come? Our data indicates that increasing demand for transparency and digital channels will have the greatest effect. Yet further predictions for the future differ between B2C and B2B companies.

Click the + sign below the answers to expand the data and see additional sector-specific feedback from manufacturing executives.

Click the tabs for sector, geography, and business size. Then use the drop-down menu below to dive deeper into the data. The figures shown represent the percentage of manufacturing executives who provided that answer.

  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx

Get in touch to discuss the full findings or how PwC can help.

Q3. Which changes in B2B and B2C customer needs and behaviors will have the biggest impact on your business? (by industry)
Select sector All Aerospace & defence Automotive Consumer goods Electronics and technology Energy, utilities, resources Engineering and construction Health industries manufacturing Industrial manufacturing and equipment
Greater use of digital channels 52% 57% 46% 60% 58% 36% 53% 47% 53%
Use of omni-channel shopping 39% 47% 31% 51% 44% 31% 36% 24% 42%
Digitally enabled, connected products 38% 41% 43% 38% 40% 31% 24% 40% 38%
Q3. Which changes in B2B and B2C customer needs and behaviors will have the biggest impact on your business? (by country)
Select country China Germany Japan UK US
Greater use of digital channels 54% 55% 44% 55% 51%
Use of omni-channel shopping 33% 40% 40% 38% 41%
Digitally enabled, connected products 33% 39% 40% 30% 44%
Q3. Which changes in B2B and B2C customer needs and behaviors will have the biggest impact on your business? (by size)
Select business size $1 billion to $4.99 billion $5 billion and over $250 million to $999 million
Greater use of digital channels 56% 49% 49%
Use of omni-channel shopping 39% 43% 34%
Digitally enabled, connected products 37% 36% 41%
Q3. Which changes in B2B and B2C customer needs and behaviors will have the biggest impact on your business? (Aerospace)
Country/business size China Germany Japan UK US $1 billion to $4.99 billion $5 billion and over $250 million to $999 million
Greater use of digital channels 55% 60% 45% 60% 63% 58% 63% 48%
Use of omni-channel shopping 35% 50% 55% 55% 43% 39% 55% 39%
Digitally enabled, connected products 45% 45% 50% 15% 45% 45% 43% 33%
Q3. Which changes in B2B and B2C customer needs and behaviors will have the biggest impact on your business? (Automotive)
Country/business size China Germany Japan UK US $1 billion to $4.99 billion $5 billion and over $250 million to $999 million
Greater use of digital channels 50% 60% 45% 40% 40% 47% 45% 46%
Use of omni-channel shopping 10% 45% 40% 25% 33% 35% 33% 24%
Digitally enabled, connected products 50% 55% 45% 40% 33% 44% 35% 49%
Q3. Which changes in B2B and B2C customer needs and behaviors will have the biggest impact on your business? (IM)
Country/business size China Germany Japan UK US $1 billion to $4.99 billion $5 billion and over $250 million to $999 million
Greater use of digital channels 60% 50% 40% 55% 57% 67% 39% 48%
Use of omni-channel shopping 45% 35% 25% 45% 50% 48% 39% 37%
Digitally enabled, connected products 15% 35% 50% 30% 48% 37% 39% 37%

Q4. Which of the following areas will your firm prioritise for performance measurement over the next 6 months and over the next 1-2 years?

A new era of manufacturing metrics

The manufacturing industry is transforming—and ways to measure success are evolving, too. As the pandemic accelerates the transition to advanced technologies and raises social and safety concerns, metrics to gauge progress are expanding beyond financial indicators. How are manufacturers planning to measure performance in the future? Our data shows that metrics for productivity, innovation, and digitalisation will rise in importance—as manufacturers also put higher value on sustainability and CSR measurements.

Click the + sign below the answers to expand the data and see additional sector-specific feedback from manufacturing executives.

Click the tabs for sector, geography, and business size. Then use the drop-down menu below to dive deeper into the data. The figures shown represent the percentage of manufacturing executives who provided that answer.

  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx
  • 0%xxxxx

Get in touch to discuss the full findings or how PwC can help.

Q4. Which of the following areas will your firm prioritise for performance measurement? (by industry)
Select sector All Aerospace & defence Automotive Consumer goods Electronics and technology Energy, utilities, resources Engineering and construction Health industries manufacturing Industrial manufacturing and equipment
Productivity and efficiency 56% 66% 54% 56% 53% 42% 69% 42% 55%
Innovation and R&D 51% 55% 49% 40% 51% 56% 49% 49% 53%
Digital transformation 46% 53% 38% 40% 47% 47% 47% 49% 47%
Q4. Which of the following areas will your firm prioritise for performance measurement? (by country)
Select country China Germany Japan UK US
Productivity and efficiency 66% 54% 56% 53% 42%
Innovation and R&D 55% 49% 40% 51% 56%
Digital transformation 53% 38% 40% 47% 47%
Q4. Which of the following areas will your firm prioritise for performance measurement? (by size)
Select business size $1 billion to $4.99 billion $5 billion and over $250 million to $999 million
Productivity and efficiency 66% 54% 56%
Innovation and R&D 55% 49% 40%
Digital transformation 53% 38% 40%
Q4. Which of the following areas will your firm prioritise for performance measurement? (Aerospace)
Country/business size China Germany Japan UK US $1 billion to $4.99 billion $5 billion and over $250 million to $999 million
Productivity and efficiency 75% 70% 70% 75% 53% 65% 73% 55%
Innovation and R&D 60% 50% 45% 45% 65% 65% 50% 55%
Digital transformation 55% 70% 50% 50% 45% 45% 57% 52%
Q4. Which of the following areas will your firm prioritise for performance measurement? (Auto)
Country/business size China Germany Japan UK US $1 billion to $4.99 billion $5 billion and over $250 million to $999 million
Productivity and efficiency 40% 80% 55% 50% 50% 47% 68% 49%
Innovation and R&D 70% 50% 50% 25% 50% 42% 45% 62%
Digital transformation 20% 30% 45% 35% 48% 42% 40% 30%
Q4. Which of the following areas will your firm prioritise for performance measurement? (IM)
Country/business size China Germany Japan UK US $1 billion to $4.99 billion $5 billion and over $250 million to $999 million
Productivity and efficiency 60% 45% 45% 75% 53% 59% 46% 57%
Innovation and R&D 40% 50% 60% 55% 57% 61% 46% 50%
Digital transformation 40% 50% 45% 60% 43% 48% 39% 50%

Contact us

Anil Khurana

Anil Khurana

Global Industrial Manufacturing & Automotive Leader, Principal, PwC United States

Tel: +1 (734) 773 8902