In the trenches: An in-depth perspective on our clients’ world.

Published October 23, 2012 4:51 pm by LoSasso

At LoSasso, we fully believe that having informative, well thought-out content is what elevates one brand over another – and we would be hard-pressed to find an integrated marketing agency that wouldn’t agree. We stay ahead of the game, however, by throwing ourselves into each of our clients’ industries to understand everything from technical language to industry challenges and trends – and how to package that information in a compelling way to reach the target audience.

Gardner Capital Equipment, Tooling, and Workholding Survey and ForecastWith clients in the metalworking/tooling industry, a group of LoSassins recently attended Gardner Business Media’s Annual Capital Spending Forecast Luncheon. Gardner Business Media, which owns publications such as Modern Machine Shop, Production Machining, and Automotive Design and Product, annually surveys the industry to understand capital spending/economic trends and predictions in the metalworking/tooling business. Not only does this give us a sense of the overall trends and outlook as we near 2013, but it is one of our best tools for content development, media pitching and planning. Below is a snapshot of key takeaways. For more information, download the Capital Spending Forecast presentation from Gardner.

Machine Tool Consumption

  • 2013 projection is $6.634 billion, which is up 8 percent from the 2012 estimate and roughly 10 percent more than the historical average market
  • We’re currently in the strongest machine-tool market in 15 years, and economic trends supporting this market should last several years

Tooling & Workholding Consumption

  • 2013 projection is $6.374 billion, which is up 13 percent from the 2012 estimate and significantly above the historical average
  • This is likely the strongest tooling and workholding market in a generation and again, economic trends supporting this market should last several years

Consumer Durable Goods Spending vs. Production

  • Consumer durable goods spending is at an all-time high
  • Production has increased significantly since early 2009 but is still below its peak levels of late 2007
  • For most of the last two years production has been growing faster than spending. This lends credence to the reshoring story, and based on continued accelerating growth in spending, industrial production should remain robust

Other Trends Affecting Metalworking

  • 18 percent of Top Shops respondents reported new work from reshoring initiatives
  • The high cost of shipping, supply-chain challenges, poor quality, and a trend to manufacture locally continue to drive reshoring
  • Chinese labor rates are forecast to double in the next six years
  • Chinese PMI has contracted 11 consecutive months

Employment challenges

  • Still a shortage of skilled labor
  • Total cost of a machine is less than the total cost of employees
  • Requiring increased automation and machine/process flexibility

For more Gardner insights on capital spending in the metalworking industry, watch our fearless leader’s interview with Steve Kline, Jr., Director of Market Intelligence at Gardner Publications.