The recently released “2021 Business Forecast Report” from the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) reveals a sense of optimism and gradual improvement within the industry. Not only do current business conditions remain positive for 99% of mold builders, the percentage of mold manufacturers who believe business conditions in Q1 will increase has risen from last year’s all-time low, surpassing data from the last five years.
More than 100 US-based mold manufacturers took part in the study, conducted from late December 2020 to mid-January 2021. The benchmarking report analyzes and highlights information on the anticipated outlook for the US mold building industry for 2021.
The report showcases data on sales trends, profit levels, capital expenditures, shop and design employment levels, and challenges faced in the industry, said AMBA. This data is pulled from surveyed responses on over 40 economic indicator questions that cover 2020 performance, fourth-quarter performance, and forecasts and expectations for 2021. This year, new data was gathered specific to the impact felt by mold manufacturers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
For the second time, AMBA surveyed mold builders on questions related to capacity and the state of their pipelines. Since the last survey in 2020, capacity utilization has risen from 67 to 73%. Additionally, the number of companies reporting that their pipeline is oversold, full, or adequate increased in the last 12 months.
Executives surveyed once again named workforce development as the primary challenge facing the mold building industry, but it fell from 93% in the previous report to 53%. New business development/sales also fell significantly in importance; it was replaced by challenges related to foreign competition, cost pressure, and maintaining profitability. This is unsurprising given the volatile political environment, the continuing threat of foreign competition, and the need to work more efficiently with a diminished workforce, either because of limited resources or the pandemic.
AMBA also recently published its “2020/2021 Wage and Salary Report,” which represents the largest compensation study focused on the US mold-building industry and contains comprehensive analysis on more than 50 job classifications from surveyed mold builders.
Both reports may be purchased at the AMBA website.