Venue for the First Inning of a Resurgence in Mfg Sector

America is in the first inning of a resurgence in our manufacturing sector.


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America is in the first inning of a resurgence in our manufacturing sector. This was clearly evident at the NPE2012 down in Orlando last week. Exhibit space was full, attendance totals were strong, and there was a prevailing sense that customers were there to do business. We will not know for sure for a quarter or two, but I believe that as 2012 progresses and we get a few more months worth of data, we will see a strong and positive, post-NPE uptick in the data for sales of plastics machinery, new orders for molds and tooling, and ultimately in the total U.S. production of plastics products. In other words, NPE 2012 will go down in the annals as a "good show." So my first prediction is that the folks in Orlando can look forward to seeing us again sometime in 2015.
I chose to begin this blog with a baseball metaphor for a reason (see my reference above to "the first inning"), and not just because we were down in Florida this year around the time of spring training. I chose this metaphor because I think we are in the early stages of very competitive situation. I won't call it a game, but you should still be ready to bring your "A-game" if you want to succeed. America used to dominate the global plastics and metalworking industries, but our competitiveness has slipped in recent years. However, that does not mean it would not be fun to start winning again.
So here we are at the start of a new round of extremely competitive action. America seems poised to regain its competitive edge, and we all agree that it would be great if we could start winning again. But like any good baseball game, the outcomes of the U.S. plastics and moldmaking industries are still uncertain.

Just because we are in the first inning of a resurgence does not mean we will win or even finish the game. Our players have emerged from the last recession stronger than ever, but the other competitors are also hungry, and rest assured, they will get their time at bat. If we are going to win, then we must devote our minds and bodies to the task. We have a chance, but will we seize it?
I look forward to hearing what you are doing to become a better competitor. I do not want to hear what the government should do, or what the local community college should do, or what your neighbor should do. I want to know what you are doing. Once I see that you are doing everything you can do to become as competitive as you can be, then I will be able to predict with great confidence what this game will look like in the later innings and beyond.