Thomas, the leader in product sourcing, supplier selection, and marketing solutions for industry manufacturing, released its '2020 Q4 Top Manufacturing Trends,' identifying the top products and services sourced by North American manufacturers, as well as sharing predictions for 2021 industrial sourcing trends. 

The Q4 sourcing data report illustrates the continued reshaping of North American manufacturing, specifically how industry adapted to address urgent needs in the fight against COVID-19 and how sourcing in 2021 will be impacted by the ongoing pandemic and associated vaccine rollout.

"While this past year has brought unprecedented challenges, the manufacturing sector at large continues to be a resilient force as it adapts to overcome rising obstacles – from diversifying its supply chain to combating the skills gap," said Tony Uphoff, Thomas president and CEO. 

2021 Q1 Predictions

COVID-19 Vaccine-related Supplies and Equipment: 30-33% Projected Increase

As COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers like Moderna and Pfizer race through a carefully orchestrated logistics process to distribute their critical vaccines worldwide, Thomas anticipates a steady increase of industrial sourcing in categories essential to this endeavor over the next quarter. These categories include dry ice, ultra-low temperature freezers, and cold storage services.

Security and Surveillance Equipment: 15-18% Projected Increase

With numerous B2B and B2C businesses nationwide closed because of COVID-19-related restrictions, Thomas expects industrial sourcing for security and surveillance related equipment, including security cameras, surveillance systems, and surveillance cameras, to increase over the next three months as business owners look for additional ways to protect their businesses and safeguard their properties during closures. 

Printing Services: 12-15% Projected Increase

As demand increases for businesses nationwide in light of residual COVID-19 impacts, industrial printing businesses specializing in various services, including screen printing, digital printing and commercial printing will see an uptick in sourcing. 

Biodegradable Packaging and Biodegradable Bags: 7-10% Projected Increase

Our® data shows that sourcing activity in 2019 and 2020 reflected substantially increased interest in sustainability. We anticipate that this trend will continue into 2021 with a specific focus on biodegradable packagin g and bags, with both categories increasing over the course of Q1. 

"At Thomas, we continue to work diligently to provide solutions to better guide industry as it adapts to and navigates new challenges. We encourage businesses to leverage our resources like the daily Thomas Industry Update newsletter and biweekly Thomas Industry Update Podcast, which provide data that can help inform business leaders in making sound business decisions," added Uphoff.

The platform serves 1.18 million active registered users and 14 million industrial professionals who access information for their procurement and marketing needs.

Download the Q4 Sourcing eBook for the full list.