Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Processor Survey Gives Us All Good News

President's Post

I found a lot of good news for our industry in the results of a recent independent survey of 490 plastics processors that was conducted by Gardner Publication’s Plastics Technology magazine and Townsend Solutions. The survey was designed to measure “how the recession is affecting plastics processors’ investment plans” and to confirm anecdotal evidence that “engineering and quoting activity has remained surprisingly high and many end user manufacturing companies are still relatively busy.” 

Amid a sometimes contentious ebb and flow of speculation and conjecture, I applaud the efforts of Plastics Technology and Townsend  Solutions to give the plastics industry an objective, third-party look at the state of the North American plastics industry today.  The survey results gives strong evidence of a resurging plastics industry. It also helps to balance the “doom and gloom” reports and puts today’s economic crisis in proper perspective. While it’s certainly not business as usual out there, the survey results show that this industry continues to move forward and that there is still money to be made for those companies properly positioned in today’s rapidly changing marketplace. 

It’s important to point out that an overwhelming majority — 80% — of processors surveyed indicate that, while delayed, they will follow through on planned equipment purchases — and of those, more than half indicated they would make purchases within the next 12 months. In addition, nearly 50% of those planning to purchase equipment indicate that trade shows would be the source of information used to research the purchase. Given plastics processors’ investment timeline, coupled with Federal Stimulus tax incentives for capital equipment purchases made this tax year, the NPE2009 trade show is well-timed to catalyze business. Clearly the majority of the industry agrees since more than 50% of those surveyed are already planning to attend.

To the 30% of respondents still undecided about NPE2009 I say, “You can’t afford not to go!” – particularly in light of the survey results that confirm that so many of your competitors will be there.  In addition to the traditional trade show, we have eight co-located events with more than 1,000 technical presentations, business sessions, networking events and new technology displays all under one roof making this the world’s largest event for plastics professionals.

I have always been proud of our industry’s continuing innovation and ability to re-invent itself in order to match consumer demand and societal shifts. These survey results confirm to me another valued trait of our industry: perseverance. Despite the darkest economic conditions our nation has faced since the Great Depression, this industry marches forward and finds the glimmers of light shining through the cracks.

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