AEM: Manufacturers optimistic about the months ahead

By |  March 24, 2021

According to an AEM survey, 19 percent of equipment manufacturers said sales are up, while 36 percent indicated that sales are stable. Photo:

Eighty-eight percent of equipment manufacturers have a positive outlook for 2021, according to a new survey the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) released.

More than half (55 percent) of AEM survey respondents expect sales to increase or remain stable despite the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

“The equipment manufacturing industry has continued to operate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and has successfully adjusted to challenges to make the equipment that builds, feeds and powers our country,” says Dennis Slater, AEM president. “Equipment manufacturers have begun to turn the corner. We now need Congress and the president to pass long-overdue legislation that will invest in and modernize our nation’s infrastructure.”

Looking at the biggest challenges facing company executives and the equipment manufacturing industry as a whole in 2021, survey respondents indicated that the lingering COVID-19 pandemic and keeping employees safe and on the job remain the top concerns, followed by finding skilled workers for new jobs being created.

Turning to how the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the workplace, one in eight respondents said it will have a lasting impact on how they work. Also, face-to-face meetings with colleagues and work travel are the top two activities they look forward to in 2021.

Additional survey findings include:

• Nineteen percent of equipment manufacturers said sales are up, while 36 percent indicated that sales are stable.

• Almost half of respondents (45 percent) said sales are down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

• More than two-thirds (68 percent) said trade shows will be different (including virtual options) following the COVID-19 pandemic, while one-quarter said trade shows will remain the same.

• Almost half (45 percent) indicated their work productivity increased during the COVID-19 pandemic while one in three (36 percent) said their efficiency went down.

• One in five respondents said the COVID-19 pandemic caused them to consider retiring early, while eight in 10 said the global health crisis has not impacted their retirement plans.

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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