amerimold 2012: A Satisfying Experience

There are really only two reasons to have a show like amerimold: 1) so that buyers and sellers all up and down the plastics injection mold supply chain can meet face-to-face and conduct business; and 2) to facilitate this market’s never-ending quest for more education. Both of these objectives were accomplished last week in Novi.

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In case you missed it, the amerimold 2012 trade show that was convened earlier this month in Novi, MI was well worth the trip. Now I know that Novi will never be designated as a world-class resort destination. And I am acutely aware of the fact that the North American moldmaking industry has been significantly “downsized” in recent years. And I am also sensitive to the notion that the timing of this year’s amerimold show was sandwiched right in between the NPE 2012 last April and the IMTS 2012 coming up in September. Still, I am glad I went, and so were the other attendees, exhibitors, and speakers that I met while I was there.

There are really only two reasons to have a show like amerimold: 1) so that buyers and sellers all up and down the plastics injection mold supply chain can meet face-to-face and conduct business; and 2) to facilitate this market’s never-ending quest for more education. Both of these objectives were accomplished last week in Novi.

The number of exhibitors and attendees was not huge, but the people who were there were ready to engage. Our monthly survey of North American moldmakers (the results of which are reported as our Mold Business Index) indicates that for the past few quarters, both the overall business levels and the industry’s growth rate have been strong. This newfound sense of vibrancy was felt up and down the aisles of the show. Nearly every exhibitor who I spoke with was pleased and impressed with the quality of the leads they received. Moldmaking in North America is rebounding, and the prospects for the future look better than they have for a long time.

And if the trials and tribulations of the past few years have taught us anything, it is that you can never be too smart. Business conditions and technologies change rapidly these days, and your only hope of maintaining a competitive edge is a life-long investment in ongoing and rigorous education. I was actually lucky enough to be one of the keynote speakers at this year’s show. I say I was lucky because there were three other keynotes, as well as several panel discussions, and all of them were outstanding. My status was elevated just being designated as one of them.

Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to learn that the topic of my presentation was competitiveness, and the changes in our daily lives that all of us must embrace if we are to regain and increase our competitive edge. To be honest, this process is really a conversation that I am trying to have with participants in this industry and the global marketplace for molds. During the two days I was at amerimold, I garnered a lot of good ideas about becoming more competitive, and also about communicating these ideas with other market participants. I look forward to discussing these ideas in greater length in future blog postings.

To summarize I will say that everybody--not just those of us involved with the moldmaking industry, but all of us—could use some more business activity and some more education. There was plenty of both to be found last week in Novi. Most of us who were there are already making plans to attend next year’s show in Chicago, June 12 & 13, 2013!

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