Measuring Up

How do you know if you measure up if there is no data against which you can measure?

How do you know if you measure up if there is no data against which you can measure? This is an ongoing challenge that the moldmaking industry faces, and one that is continually brought up to us by shops looking to see how they stack up against the competition—both domestically and globally. Not only that, many just want a snapshot of how things are going within their world of moldmaking as well as a forecast for the short-term. Wanting to know this information is half the battle, but getting the data and then applying that data to improve your shop’s operations is the other half.

The first step to measuring up is recognizing the variety of moldmaking-specific studies and surveys out there, which need YOUR participation in order to provide you with the data you seek … accurate data.

MoldMaking Technology alone has a monthly Mold Business Index (MBI, on page 12 of every issue), which is based on a monthly survey of North American moldmakers. The total MBI is a weighted average of the sub-indices for new orders, production, employees, backlog, exports and supplier deliveries. A diffusion index is calculated based on 50.0. A value above 50.0 indicates that business activity expanded in the previous month, while a value below 50.0 means that business levels declined.

The only limits to the current data are what you make of it, and with your regular participation in this survey the data will only get better. For example, we are looking to expand the data to include analysis of end markets, but we need your support.

We also seek participation throughout the year in various Web surveys and post-show surveys, and in addition to MMT, other industry organizations also offer opportunities for you to be a part of a data solution. The AMBA conducts its quarterly business forecast survey (www.amba.org), SPI offers economic statistics (www.socplas.org) and Plante and Moran LLC has its mold manufacturing benchmarking survey (http://plastics.plantemoran.com), just to name a few. And all of these serve to better serve you and the industry … if only you participate.

Once you measure up, it’s time to move up and give your shop some well-deserved recognition. One way to do that is to nominate your shop for our annual Leadtime Leader Awards competition. Visit www.moldmakingtechnology.com/awards and take the first step to nominating your shop: fill out a simple registration form. These Awards are meant to recognize North American moldmaking shops who best demonstrate overall innovation, efficiency, quality and commitment within their moldmaking operations, while raising the bar in terms of mold engineering, building and repair.

If you have any questions about the Leadtime Leader Awards feel free to contact me directly at (800) 579-8809 or via e-mail at cfuges@gardnerweb.com.

It’s time for you to participate!

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Thinking Outside the Shop

Attending moldmakers, designers, molders and OEMs walked the show floor and sat in on our technical conference sessions seeking better products, equipment, services and knowledge to bring back to their shops.