It’s not all bad news. Despite all of the negative news we’re hearing lately, there is “good” happening and new business opportunities to take advantage of, as a few surveys have reported. Now is the time for technology suppliers and end users to be active. Now is the time to get your businesses prepared.
Last month MMT, along with sister publication Modern Machine Shop, surveyed our readers for their views on how the downturn is affecting investment plans. The results are encouraging—revealing that one-third of respondents say business is stable or growing; 28% say the recession has not affected their equipment purchasing plans, but 52% have delayed plans. However, 20% are currently in the process of purchasing capital equipment or software, or actively researching for later purchase, and of those planning to purchase, nearly a quarter expect to purchase in the next three months, 26% in the next 4 to 6 months, and 55% in the next 7 to 12 months. For complete results go to www.moldmakingtechnology.com/09survey.
Another related survey from MFG.com—on the economy, business conditions and survival plans—shows that manufacturers charting new business roadmaps are holding steady. Some reassuring findings indicate that 51% say their businesses were experiencing declines, but 49% state improving or excellent business conditions. When asked about the potential of company growth in ‘09, the majority is holding steady, and 75% of suppliers say they are looking to expand their offerings into other industries. See the full report at http://marketing.mfg.com/random/January-Survey-Results-2-16-09.doc.
If you haven’t participated in either one of these surveys, now it’s your turn to chime in. We are collaborating with Plante & Moran on their 2009 North American Plastics Industry Study: Mold Manufacturers’ Survey, which benchmarks the mold manufacturing industry. A summary report will be published exclusively in MMT.
For those of you unfamiliar with Plante & Moran, it is a certified public accounting and business advisory firm with a plastic industry team that has developed a focused financial and business management approach specifically for plastic molders and moldmakers. This study, founded in 1995, “is an in-depth benchmarking survey linking profitability and performance in the plastics industry”—involving mold manufacturing and plastics processor participation. As part of this survey every other year (such as this year), the mold manufacturing industry is specifically surveyed and examined—measuring strategy, marketing, financial performance, HR and operations.
According to Plante & Moran, participants receive actionable insights on what drives success in this industry, commentary on the state of the industry and data analysis. All of which can be used to identify gaps in strategy and compare the practices of successful (and unsuccessful) companies across North America.
I strongly encourage you to participate. Visit plantemoran.com and click on Manufacturers & Distributors to download the form. It must be completed and submitted by May 31, 2009.