Does your company provide manufacturing technology?
And more specifically, are you part of a SaaS (software as a service) company or ISV (independent software vendor) specializing in some aspect of manufacturing tech --
Such as computer-aided manufacturing, ERP (enterprise resource planning), manufacturing intelligence, material requirements planning (MRP), manufacturing execution systems (MES), production scheduling software, or quality management software (QMS)?
You’ll learn about the State of Manufacturing Technology in this resource guide (Mainly for founders, marketing, sales, customer success, and product management professionals in marketing software startups, scaleups, and small businesses)
Table of Contents
- How Many Manufacturing Industry LinkedIn Members
- How LinkedIn Organizes Subcategories Within the Broader Manufacturing Industry
- The Most Popular Job Titles, Seniorities, and Functions Within Manufacturing
- Manufacturing Research and Development (R&D) and Company Sizes
- Impact of Manufacturing on the Overall U.S. Economy
- Unfilled Manufacturing Jobs
- Impact of Federal Regulations on Manufacturers
- Manufacturing Industry Trends from Deloitte and Gartner
- The Bottom Line on the State of Manufacturing Technology
- Other Related Blog Posts
- Training Tools and Resources (Courses)
- Learn More When You Watch the Full Recording
The way that manufacturing companies research and make purchase decisions has changed.
Most manufacturing SaaS startups, scaleups, and small businesses are completely unprepared to confront this once-in-a-generation change in purchasing behavior.
In this update on the State of Manufacturing Technology, you’ll learn about manufacturing categories, segments, and subindustries on LinkedIn, manufacturing industry job titles, seniorities, and functions on LinkedIn, manufacturers' R&D and innovation, manufacturing firms' number of employees, the impact of manufacturing spending as an economic multiplier, manufacturing job growth, careers, and unfilled jobs, federal regulations on manufacturers, manufacturing industry trends to watch, and manufacturing business trends.
How Many Manufacturing Industry LinkedIn Members
Over the past two decades, LinkedIn has become the gold standard for professional networking among B2B professionals. As the largest B2B network of its kind, LinkedIn consistently ranks as the most trustworthy B2B network.
LinkedIn sees about 77 million professionals (worldwide) in the manufacturing industry, of which:
- 16 million of those LinkedIn members are in the United States
- 25 million -- actually, considerably more -- are located in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa)
So with 41 of 77 million manufacturing industry members on LinkedIn located in the United States or EMEA, there's still a significant percentage -- roughly 46% (36 million) that are scattered in other regions.
How LinkedIn Organizes Subcategories Within the Broader Manufacturing Industry
- Computer Hardware Manufacturing
- Defense and Space Manufacturing
- Medical Equipment Manufacturing
- Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing
- Personal Care Product Manufacturing
- Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
- Semiconductor Manufacturing
- Sporting Goods Manufacturing
- Transportation Equipment Manufacturing
The top three subcategories among manufacturing members on LinkedIn include
- Transportation Equipment Manufacturing
- Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
- Semiconductor Manufacturing
So this is all slicing, dicing, and segmenting within the larger category of the 77 million LinkedIn members in manufacturing. You’ll find roughly
- 14 million LinkedIn members around the world working in Transportation Equipment Manufacturing
- 5 million LinkedIn members in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
- 3 million LinkedIn members in Semiconductor Manufacturing
Editor’s Note: Semiconductor Manufacturing, as a LinkedIn industry subcategory, is different than Computer Hardware Manufacturing -- which, while it makes the “top 10 list”, wasn’t in the top three.
The Most Popular Job Titles, Seniorities, and Functions Within Manufacturing
So when we switch over from subcategories of the manufacturing industry and look at job titles, keep the following in mind:
LinkedIn, LinkedIn Sales Navigator and LinkedIn Ads (LinkedIn Campaign Manager) infer job titles, seniorities, and job functions based on information found on member profiles.
In other words, LinkedIn's filtering and targeting choices around job titles, seniorities, and functions come from something different than explicit choices or declarations that LinkedIn members make on their profiles.
Instead, these attributes come from LinkedIn's machine learning trying to guess and surmise based on inferential information on profiles, shares, activities, and group memberships.
As a result, use this data on a relative basis, but not necessarily on an absolute basis.
So LinkedIn sees 600,000 CEOs of manufacturing companies globally:
- 170,000, in the U.S.
- 240,000 in EMEA
Elsewhere in the C-suite, which would have a strong interest in manufacturing technology, LinkedIn believes it has approximately 10,000 members with the Chief Information Officer (CIO) job title.
Again, the actual number of manufacturing CIOs may be considerably larger. But this data parsing, segmentation, and filtering happens mainly based on how LinkedIn’s machine learning makes inferences.
So you can use this data for filtering and targeting, but you shouldn’t necessarily depend on these numbers as the be-all, end-all for targeting and the total addressable market (TAM),
Moving on from job titles to seniorities:
If you sell to buying committees with multiple stakeholders involved, which is likely if you have a considered purchase, seniority-based filtering, and targeting can be invaluable.
For example, LinkedIn knows about approximately 1,000,000 LinkedIn members with CXO seniorities -- and 3,000,000 LinkedIn members with owner seniorities -- within the manufacturing industry.
More than half (530,00) of the CXOs are in the U.S.; a little less (460,000) are based in EMEA.
Considering the inherently imperfect nature of how LinkedIn infers these job attributes, depending on the target company size, surmising that someone is an owner vs. CXO could sometimes be splitting hairs.
But again, these queries will give you how LinkedIn sees its members' seniority on a relative basis.
At the end of the day, when trying to reach manufacturing executives similar to Buyer Persona: Manufacturing Matthew, using outbound or inbound:
LinkedIn helps attract those active members that are primarily likely into digital transformation and automation.
The final job-related attribute LinkedIn helps with is job function, with the largest segments including:
- Operations function (Manufacturing industry): 15,000,000 LinkedIn members
- Engineering function (Manufacturing industry): 8,000,000 LinkedIn members
- Information Technology function (Manufacturing industry): 3,000,000 LinkedIn members
- Finance function (Manufacturing industry): 1,000,000 LinkedIn members
So if you think about the pure number of LinkedIn members or stakeholders that you can reach on a worldwide basis, regardless of whether your ideal client profile (ICP) includes all or parts of the U.S., EMEA, or elsewhere, LinkedIn is great for slicing and dicing your targeting data.
At a high level, this gives you an idea of what to consider with your addressable market.
Now that you understand how LinkedIn sees the manufacturing industry and what this means for growing your manufacturing technology company, let’s look at broader macro trends driving the State of Manufacturing Technology.
Manufacturing Research and Development (R&D) and Company Sizes
The Bureau of Economic Analysis found that many U.S. manufacturers perform almost 58% of all private sector R&D in the country, driving more innovation than any other sector.
“Manufacturers in the United States perform 57.9% of all private-sector R&D in the nation, driving more innovation than any other sector.” (Bureau of Economic Analysis)
These innovation investments can be a massive win because your platform, technology, and software (hopefully!) allow manufacturing companies to be more innovative.
Another thing to keep in mind:
The majority of manufacturing companies in the U.S. are small. Three-quarters of these firms have fewer than 20 employees. That's directly from the U.S. Census Bureau.
“The majority of manufacturing firms in the United States are quite small… three-quarters of these firms have fewer than 20 employees.” (U.S. Census Bureau)
Impact of Manufacturing on the Overall U.S. Economy
“For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, there is a total impact of $2.68 to the overall U.S. economy. This figure represents one of the largest sectoral multipliers in the economy.” (The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM))
And you're part of that! Manufacturers invest in technology, software, automation, and ERP. This figure represents one of the most significant sectoral multipliers in the U.S. economy.
Unfilled Manufacturing Jobs
Another critical factor is the labor force, specifically skilled employees recruiting.
Deloitte found that over this decade, 4 million manufacturing jobs will be needed, and a little over half, 2.1 million, are expected to go unfilled If you don't go out and inspire people to pursue modern manufacturing careers.
“Over the next decade, 4 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed, and 2.1 million are expected to go unfilled if we do not inspire more people to pursue modern manufacturing careers. Moreover, according to a recent report, the cost of those missing jobs could potentially total $1 trillion in 2030 alone.” (Deloitte)
How many universities do you know where their biggest major is encouraging people to go into manufacturing?
That's on you! Founders, leadership teams, and go-to-market professionals in the manufacturing space need to grow the ecosystem.
The cost of these unfilled jobs will total 1 trillion dollars in lost productivity by the end of the decade!
So everyone is running around thinking that AI and ChatGPT are this existential threat to jobs.
But yet, Deloitte comes in and says:
You got it all wrong. We need technology to fill in because we have 10,000 Baby Boomers a day retiring, and we don't have enough people to take these jobs.
Impact of Federal Regulations on Manufacturers
The National Association of Manufacturers also found that compliance regulation is a big challenge for manufacturers, spending about $20,000 on average per employee to comply with federal regulations.
“The cost of federal regulations falls disproportionately on manufacturers, particularly those that are smaller. Manufacturers pay $19,564 per employee on average to comply with federal regulations, or nearly double the $9,991 per employee costs borne by all firms as a whole. In addition, small manufacturers with fewer than 50 employees spend 2.5 times the amount of large manufacturers.” (The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM))
This figure is nearly double what a typical company outside of manufacturing pays.
Small manufacturers, with less than 50 employees, have an even more significant burden: two and a half times that amount
To the extent that your platform is a solution to that problem by helping with compliance regulations, this can be a huge win.
Manufacturing Industry Trends from Deloitte and Gartner
At a big-picture level, global consultancy Deloitte and leading research analyst firm Gartner strongly believe in manufacturing industry trends.
Deloitte sees manufacturing impacted by
- Workforce shortages
- Supply chain instability
- Smart factory initiatives
- ESG investments (environmental, social, and governance)
None of these should be huge news out of left field. They're all things we hear about all the time in current events.
However, if these trends are not on your product roadmap, if you need to think about them in your product marketing, now's the time to do it.
Gartner also weighed in on this on their top five list of manufacturing trends and predictions:
- Digital + Product Experience
- Total Experience
- Ecosystem Partnerships
- Data Monetization
- Equipment as a Service (EaaS)
This last trend, EaaS, has been in the works for years, shifting major equipment from purchases to leases -- subscriptions -- going from the proverbial capital expenditure (CapEx) to the operating expenditure (OpEx), something that anyone that's in SaaS or managed services has known about for quite some time.
The Bottom Line on the State of Manufacturing Technology
In this guide, you’ve earned how to quantify the number of manufacturing industry LinkedIn members, how LinkedIn organizes subcategories within the broader manufacturing industry, and the most popular job titles, seniorities, and functions within manufacturing.
You’ve also gained insight into manufacturing research and development (R&D) and company sizes, the impact of manufacturing on the overall U.S. economy, the crisis of unfilled manufacturing jobs, the impact of federal regulations on manufacturers, and manufacturing industry trends from Deloitte and Gartner.
Other Related Blog Posts
- Digital Marketing for Manufacturers and Distributors -- Do you work at a manufacturing or distribution company? If so, how is your digital marketing adapting to stay relevant? Read this post and watch the video.
- Finding Manufacturing Software Decision Makers [Webinar Excerpt] --- Does your company market and sell manufacturing software? Learn how to find highly-qualified manufacturing software decision-makers.
- How to Market and Sell Manufacturing Software --- Do you provide manufacturing SaaS (software)? Learn how to market and sell manufacturing software.
- Identifying Manufacturing Technology Requirements [Webinar Excerpt] --- Does your company market and sell manufacturing technology? Learn how to identify manufacturing technology requirements.
- Old-School Manufacturing Marketing and Sales [Webinar Excerpt] --- Do you provide manufacturing technology? Are you considering using old-school manufacturing marketing and sales tactics?
- Should Manufacturing SaaS Startups Use LinkedIn? [Webinar Excerpt] --- Are you part of a manufacturing SaaS startup? Learn whether manufacturing SaaS startups should use LinkedIn.
Training Tools and Resources (Courses)
Learn More When You Watch the Full Recording
How to Market and Sell to Manufacturers (Watch the Webinar Recording)