CFOtech Australia logo
Technology news for Australian CFOs and financial decision-makers
Story image

Manufacturing CFOs optimistic due to economic recovery, resilience and reshoring

By Contributor
Wed 9 Dec 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by SYSPRO chief financial officer for APAC Sanjay Galal.

As the pandemic unfolds, Australia is navigating its way through the next normal. With the second wave of COVID-19 having only significantly affected Victoria, Australia’s economic recovery is now on track. Continued optimism about a COVID-19 vaccine is keeping the manufacturing sector positive about the future, and business confidence is returning.

There is strong evidence that manufacturing industry CFOs are looking beyond the current health crisis to see how their organisations can establish a sustainable recovery by building resilience and taking advantage of the push for reshoring.

Reshoring and upskilling

Whereas political considerations and trade tensions predominantly drove the move to onshoring pre-pandemic, the new fragility of global supply chains is now a more powerful argument for reshoring. And with the free movement of human capital also now much more constrained, upskilling the local workforce is becoming more feasible than importing talent from international markets.

Given that senior finance leaders have access to both financial performance data and projections, their assessments of the impact of COVID-19 and crucially, how long its impact will last, are telling.

Research says optimism and business confidence are returning

The SYSPRO 2020 Manufacturing CFO 4.0 Survey shows that optimism amongst manufacturing CFOs remains healthy.

When asked about how their business had fared during the pandemic, 47% of global manufacturing businesses surveyed indicated that their enterprise had fared well. This pattern was particularly pronounced in the APAC region, where 75% of respondents answered between three and five in terms of how well they had fared during COVID-19 (with five being the best).

The ability for businesses to weather the COVID-19 storm was particularly prevalent amongst food and beverage manufacturers and distributors during Australia’s various lockdowns with 25% saying they fared extremely well. 

In addition, companies that could augment their existing digital activities and adapt to eCommerce models also scored highly in terms of how they believe they fared at the peak of the crisis.

The levels of optimism uncovered by the research suggest that CFOs, who are increasingly responsible for risk management in their organisations, now see COVID-19 as manageable in a business context, rather than terminal.  

The report also indicated a return of business confidence, where 47% of businesses have already recovered or are expecting to by the end of 2020. A further 30% expected to return to pre-pandemic trading conditions by the end of Q2 2021.

Given the levels of optimism identified among survey respondents, despite the continued presence of COVID-19, it should come as no surprise that CFOs see targeted, measured investments as key to establishing a sustainable recovery.

Size affects the return to pre-pandemic conditions

Drilling down further into the data, the size of organisations also played a vital role in determining their ability to survive the pandemic. Companies with 51+ employees were significantly more likely to report having performed as well as, or better than, expected.

Strategising about their next move

Senior finance leaders have been able to assess and model based on available data, and their agility in adapting to the rapidly changing situation they found themselves confronted with.

While some countries seem to be floundering when it comes to pandemic exit strategies and stimulus packages, manufacturing industry CFOs in APAC are looking beyond the current crisis — they are strategising as to how their organisations can pivot to flourish in these changed circumstances. 

Even more importantly, the report reveals the changing investment priorities for CFOs that are directly aligned with an accelerated move towards Industry 4.0.

The next normal belongs to CFOs

While the human tragedy of the pandemic cannot be overlooked, COVID-19 also represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reset the manufacturing sector. Trends which were already evident; the adoption of ERP; automation and the integration of business intelligence, artificial intelligence and machine learning are now seen as necessities.

CFOs will spearhead the adoption of these Industry 4.0 technologies as they grow into the expanded roles defined by ‘CFO 4.0’. And they will increasingly be responsible not just for the finance function, but for technology and personnel issues, including upskilling the workforce.

Undoubtedly, the next normal belongs to CFOs; their importance as strategic decision-makers will increase and with the expanded role delineated by CFO 4.0 will come greater responsibilities and enhanced influence.

In short, manufacturing CFOs will need to ensure that they lead and guide their organisations through the uncharted waters ahead.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Bitdefender, Cohesity, Fortinet & MODIFI
We round up all job appointments from June 27-30, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Digital wallets
NFTs are ready to disrupt the ticketing world
The last few months have seen NFTs wielded by digital creators to take ownership over their craft and content. Now other industries are beginning to understand the real-world value that these nifty decentralised tokens can provide.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Juniper study reveals top AI trends in APAC region
Juniper's research shows an increase in enterprise artificial intelligence adoption over the last 12 months is yielding tangible benefits to organisations.
Story image
New VMware offerings improve cloud infrastructure management
VMware has unveiled VMware vSphere+ and VMware vSAN+ to help organisations bring benefits of the cloud to existing on-prem infrastructure.
Story image
Hybrid workforce
How organisations can prepare for a post-pandemic workforce
The so-called 'new normal' office looks different to how it did pre-pandemic, and organisations need to take steps to better manage their post-pandemic workforce. 
Story image
Mastercard reveals first-ever album titled Priceless
Mastercard's music album Priceless has been unveiled at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity and features 10 songs by 10 artists worldwide.
Story image
DigiCert acquires DNS Made Easy and affiliated brands
Greg Clark comments, says, "This combination enhances the security of certificate validation and enables the automation of future validations."
Story image
Forrester names Talend Leader in enterprise data fabric
Forrester has named Talend a leader among enterprise data fabric providers in the Forrester Wave: Enterprise Data Fabric, Q2 2022 report.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Google Cloud launches new Digital Accelerator bundles for Aussie SMBs
The new bundles are designed to help Australian small and medium-sized businesses embrace digital transformation and take their businesses online.
Project management
Discover the 4 crucial factors for choosing the right job-costing solution. Is your team struggling to cost jobs and keep projects running on budget?
Link image
Story image
Workday winning on culture and family focus
This family-first approach sees all employees receive access to family-wide private healthcare cover, as well as income protection and life insurance policies.
Story image
One in five Aussies never reimbursed for work expenses
A new survey has exposed Australian employee job dissatisfaction, with many being left out of pocket for work expenses. 
Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CyberArk
Olly Stimpson joins us today to discuss the importance of MSP programmes and how MSP partners are experiencing success with CyberArk.
The Access Group
Struggling to understand which transformative technologies will help your business? The Access Group provides a look into key opportunities and impacts for finance.
Link image
Story image
Cloudflare outage in 19 data centers worldwide due to own error
Cloudflare says its outage for 19 of its data centers yesterday was because of a change in a long-running project to increase resilience in its busiest locations.
The Access Group
Health and social care organisations are currently under significant financial pressure. Find out how financial transformation can help provide an effective route forward.
Link image
Story image
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Story image
Martech experts reveal the “buzz” on personalisation
In the digital age, innovative technology must be leveraged to power an efficient and effective relationship marketing strategy.
Story image
Overcoming hybrid and multi-cloud challenges to drive innovation
Driven by improvements in technology, financial services companies have advanced both internal and external systems and processes, with the likes of digitisation, personalisation and risk management redefining the industry.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Accenture shares the benefits of supply chain visibility
It's clear that gaining better visibility into the supply chain will help organisations avoid excess costs, inefficiencies, and complexity to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Story image
How New South Wales state departments achieved cloud migration success
State departments in New South Wales are heading to the cloud to achieve better workflow solutions, and one company is paving the way for their success.
Story image
Data Protection
Five signs your business is ready to move to the cloud
Many organisations are thinking about moving to the cloud. But what are the signs you are ready, and what are the reasons to move?
Story image
How Airwallex helps businesses achieve globalisation success
As markets continue to shift, businesses need to be able to provide the same quality of service for customers regardless of where they are located around the world.
Story image
Digital Transformation
What CISOs think about cyber security, visibility and cloud
Seeking to uncover the minds of CISOs and CIOs across Asia Pacific, my company recently asked Frost & Sullivan to take a snapshot of cloud adoption behaviour in the region.
Story image
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Four factors to consider when choosing the right job accounting solution
Progressive job-based businesses can achieve success by strengthening their ability to quantify every cost attributable to the delivery of an outcome for a customer.
Story image
Macquarie Data Centres
Macquarie deal to pioneer CO2-cutting data centre tech in Australia
Macquarie Data Centres has signed a multi-year deal with ResetData, an Australian first provider using Submer data centre technology. 
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Supply chain
Discover the 4 critical priorities for wholesale distribution businesses in FY23. Are you worried about how supply chain issues may affect your business in 2023?
Link image
Story image
NOWPayments launches new service to analyse cryptocurrency fees
NOWPayments has launched a new network fee optimisation solution that analyses current network fees and picks the most profitable option out of the client's payout wallets.
Story image
Adobe survey reveals link between brand trust and consumer buy-in
Adobe has announced results from a study, which finds a strong correlation between brand trust and consumer behaviour.
Digital Transformation
Discover the 5 signs your business is ready for a cloud-based ERP. Is your business being left behind as more of your competitors switch to the cloud?
Link image
Story image
Sealord partners with Infor to improve sustainability
Sealord has chosen Infor as a strategic partner to implement an operational cloud-based platform that provides day-one functionality and sustainability gains.
Story image
Global investment in data centers more than doubled in 2021
DLA Piper's latest global survey finds the total investment in data center infrastructure worldwide rose from USD $24.4 billion in 2020 to USD $53.8 billion in 2021.
Story image
How to achieve your monthly recurring revenue goals
Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is the ultimate goal, the most important issue on which anyone in the IT channel should focus.
Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CrowdStrike
Scott Jarkoff joins us today to discuss current trends in the cyber threat landscape, and the reporting work CrowdStrike is doing to prevent further cyber harm.
Story image
Four things wholesale distributors need to consider for FY2023
In a post-pandemic world, there are many things for a distribution business to juggle. ERP solutions company Wiise narrows down what companies should focus on.
Story image
Market growth
Salesforce unveils new offerings for consumer goods companies
Salesforce has announced new products for consumer goods companies to help brands navigate increasing market complexity more easily.
Story image
Monitors are an excellent incentive for getting employees back
The pandemic has taught us that hybrid working is a lot easier than we would’ve thought, so how can the office be made to feel as comfortable as home? The answer could be staring you in the face right now.
The Access Group
Increasing headcount isn't always the best way to grow. A good financial strategy can help solve many issues, and The Access Group shares the secret to success.
Link image
Discover the 5 ways your ERP may be letting you down. Is your current system outdated, difficult to manage, and costing you a fortune?
Link image
Story image
Robotic Process Automation / RPA
Salesforce announces latest generation of MuleSoft
Salesforce has introduced the next generation of MuleSoft, a unified solution for automation, integration and APIs to automate any workflow.
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Five ways your ERP is letting you down and why its time for a change
Wiise explains while moving to a new system may seem daunting, the truth is that legacy systems could be holding your business back.
Story image
Civil Defence
OutSystems platform chosen as part of ADF contract
"To be included in this project is a reflection of our ability to deliver secure, modern digital outcomes for defence at an incredible pace."