17 Mar Q4 Instant Intel with Jason Ward, AMF Bakery Systems
The latest Intel survey reflects continued robust investment and demand for automation solutions in the baking industry last quarter and an expectation that will continue going forward. Demand for baked goods continues to be strong as consumers have continued buying despite price increases at the retail level. The impacts of the inflationary environment of 2022 continue to be felt by suppliers, though that is easing as material costs begin to settle out.
The data echoes recent announcements by major industry players explicitly stating aggressive capital investment plans for 2023 driving a bullish view for equipment manufacturers (overall positive outlook increased from 85 to 95% of respondents).
We seem to have touched bottom on supply chain issues in Q4 as over 60% of respondents noted it is neither better nor worse. However, this doesn’t mean the supply chain situation is good, it just means we seem to be stabilizing. When the data improves to show much higher than 15% of respondents seeing an improved ability to source, we will know we are accelerating towards a true recovery. All told, the modest improvement in supply chain reflected in the survey is best defined as “it is no longer getting worse”.
Talent retention and acquisition emerged as the clear #1 challenge for suppliers. With inflation easing and sourcing improving, companies will be focusing even more on this topic in the months and quarters ahead.
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