In order to assess the challenges and needs of Austrian companies with respect to current business and technological developments, a regular well-researched compilation of empirical data of the Austrian manufacturing industry is necessary. Hence, a panel of 104 decisionmakers (owners, CEOs, managing directors and plant managers) from leading Austrian industrial companies was assembled in form of an “industry panel” to investigate current issues of production work in Austria by means of a survey. In order to allow for a longitudinal study, it is planned to survey the same group of people every year; hence the instrument of an annual panel-survey was chosen. To date the panel consists of 104 leaders from different Austrian or international companies with at least one factory location in Austria. The panel was assembled first in 2018/2019 and the administered survey contained 23 questions. The actual questions comprise topics that concern the current economic situation and future expectations, operational issues with respect to delivery time, product variability and demand fluctuations, as well as questions relating to innovation, automation and the application of current technological developments (i.e. assistance systems, machine learning, etc.) in manufacturing. This paper presents the survey results and conclusions of the 2019 panel on production work in Austria.