ThomasNet’s Industry Market Barometer: Companies Confident in Growth

SMBs are investing across the supply chain in facilities, capital improvements, technology, staff and marketing


Their top priorities include increasing production capacity, adding new lines of products and services, upgrading facilities, and managing their costs. Their investments map to these strategies. For example, most are spending on technology, such as software, for areas such as cost management. To ratchet up production capacity or develop more products/services, they are investing in capital equipment.

The companies surveyed are also hiring in anticipation of growth; 37 percent of respondents plan to hire through the first half of 2011. The most common job openings align with their priorities and include skilled trade workers (43 percent), line workers (36 percent), and engineering professionals (35 percent), in addition to customer service and sales/marketing staff.

“With our company’s double-digit growth continuing, we’re investing in new capital equipment and facilities, and hiring for positions across the enterprise, from engineers to warehouse personnel. We’re also adding 45,000 square feet to our facility, more than doubling the size of our 35,000-square-foot building,” said Brandon Plock, Sourcing Team Leader, Field Fastener, a global distributor of fasteners.

Internet Fuels the Fire

Industrial businesses are recognizing that investing in a more strategic use of the Internet, in particular, their websites, is enabling their strategies to succeed. This is especially evident among the “Outperformers.” Nine out of 10 say their Web strategies have been important to their expansion, delivering increased revenue, new sources of business, an ability to compete more aggressively, and improved service.

“Our new Internet strategy has enabled us to better compete in our core markets while building a pipeline of new prospects,” said Joshua Kahn, executive vice president, Perfection Spring & Stamping Corp. The custom manufacturer is bringing in the highest-quality leads it’s ever had, even when the organization had 18 sales agencies around the country.

Looking Ahead

“We’re excited to see continued growth and investments in the industrial sector,” said Markowitz. “The information we’ve gathered from thousands of businesses demonstrates that their strategies are paying off. These companies provide affirmation of a winning formula for industry’s future success.”

To view and download the full results of the latest IMB, go to www.thomasnet.com/pressroom/Industry_Market_Barometer0711.html

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