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Web-exclusive: Sound off: Got data?



We’re all looking for that product, that strategy, or that approach to make our companies more efficient, more effective, and above all, more profitable. While instincts and common sense gleaned from years of experience in the trenches are invaluable, it’s just not enough in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.

How many times has your sales and marketing team come to you on a hunch? Everyone has an opinion—but where’s your data to back it up?

True knowledge of any market or constituency group comes from measuring outputs and consistently tracking and monitoring the data over time. How does your company’s trend line compare with your competition’s? Where are your niche markets heading? What is the forecast for manufacturing demand in the U.S. and around the world?

SPI has a library of statistical tools to help provide your company with global trend data, equipment and machinery statistics, financial management benchmarks, worker safety statistics, and more. These knowledge management tools give plastics executives the intelligence you need to grow your business, and provides valuable industry insights for others who watch the nation’s fourth-largest manufacturing industry.

The latest release of particular interest to IMM readers is our Committee on Equipment Statistics (CES) quarterly report. Here’s what your company should consider when crunching the numbers:

U.S. manufacturers and importers of primary plastics machinery and equipment shipped $241 million worth of primary machinery (excluding components and auxiliary equipment) in Q2 2006. This is a 6% decrease from the $257 million shipped in Q2 2005. Bill Wood of Mountaintop Economics & Research Inc. (Greenfield, MA), a supplier of market analyses and forecasts for decision makers in the plastics industry, provides the analysis for SPI’s report, and he points out that the triennial NPE 2006 trade exposition affects the market activity leading up to and during the NPE show.

“In a large percentage of past NPE years, the primary machinery shipment totals have been lower than would otherwise be expected in the first half of the year,” Wood states in SPI’s report, “and they are higher than usual in the quarters immediately following an NPE.”

Based on trend lines, Wood is forecasting an overall gain of approximately 6% for shipments of plastics machinery by the close of 2006.

Other data included in the report:

• New auxiliary equipment bookings rose 4% during the same quarter last year.
• Units of injection molding machinery shipped in Q2 2006 decreased 10% when compared to the same quarter in 2005.
• The plastics components sector saw an increase of 6% when compared to the first quarter this year. (It is not possible to compare this figure to data from the previous year because the number of reporting companies changed from 2005 to 2006.)

This report is a compilation of inputs from all industry players—SPI members and nonmembers alike. Using monthly data supplied by CES participants, Veris Consulting (Reston, VA) compiles and reports the data to provide the most accurate picture for the plastics industry. It’s the best tool available, and it’s important that all companies participate—do you?

All data is aggregated, and company-specific information is kept strictly confidential. The report can be found online at SPI’s Plastics Industry Store (reference product no. AB-152).

To participate in the CES quarterly data reports, contact Jennifer Jones at [email protected] or (202) 974-5231.
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