A survey released by the Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center and its trade association, the American Small Manufacturers Coalition, finds that most of today’s manufacturers are profitable, but significant challenges may lie ahead. These challenges include aging executives and low investment in capital equipment and information technologies, which could leave manufacturers behind in the race to innovate.
More than two-thirds of manufacturers surveyed are led by chief executives over 50 and 27% are led by an executive over 60. As executives prepare to retire, it is important that they create a planned succession so the business can continue to operate smoothly. Some of the consequences of ill-planned successions can be the forced sale of the business, often for a low price, or chaos when the current leader retires. A properly planned succession, however, can allow the current leader to retire knowing the company will be left in qualified hands.