Artificial intelligence is generating return on investment (ROI) in manufacturing processes such as supply chain management, quality control, and procurement, according to a report from Forbes, Xometry, and John Zogby Strategies.
Nearly 70% of manufacturing CEOs who have invested in AI technologies within the last year have seen a significant ROI in those three areas, the researchers said in their latest American Manufacturing Resilience quarterly survey.
In the poll of more than 150 U.S. companies, the majority (76%) of CEOs said they are deploying AI in supply chain management, followed by procurement (71%), quality control (47%), and automation (37%).
The rapid rise in AI adoption coincides with accelerating reshoring efforts, the survey found. Three-quarters (76%) of CEOs have successfully reshored some or all of their overseas facilities, or are in the process of doing so. That figure is up significantly from the 48% of CEOs in Q3 who said they are in the process of reshoring, and up from 35% in Q2.
“Our latest quarterly survey shows us that AI and reshoring go hand-in-hand,” Randy Altschuler, Xometry CEO, said in a release. “As reshoring continues to accelerate, CEOs are using AI to create locally resilient supply chains, simplify procurement, and streamline their operations. This reinforces the fact that American manufacturing increasingly is the new high-tech industry, requiring sophisticated tools and talent as companies look to bolster industry here at home.”
However, as American manufacturing becomes more high tech, CEOs remain worried about attracting highly skilled talent. More than half (56%) of CEOs said they struggle finding qualified employees in today’s tight labor market. Additionally, nearly half (47%) of CEOs said they plan to hire additional employees in the near future, with the other half (51%) maintaining existing staffing levels.
Despite geopolitical, inflationary, and other threats, CEOs remain optimistic. Nearly three-fourths (70%) said they are on track to beat last year’s sales, and nearly two-thirds (65%) said the future remains bright. Still, executives are concerned about ‘black swan’ events, including international conflict, banking instability, and unforeseen events such as another pandemic.