The statistics profession is faced with opportunities and challenges that arise from the widespread use of methodology and software, by non-specialists. These practitioners, or so-called ‘parastatisticians’, are generally isolated from the wider statistics community. Because of the widespread adoption of Six Sigma and an increasingly regulated marketplace, this phenomenon is particularly prevalent in the manufacturing sector.The paper discusses findings from a survey of parastatisticians in manufacturing, which was designed to quantify practice and attitudes in their companies, from their own perspectives. These findings are discussed in the context of a review of the literature pertaining to what the mainstream statistics profession sees as its future. It then goes on to suggest how the profession might go about supporting and creating linkages to this group of practitioners. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.