Just about every day I get asked, “So, how’s it going out there? What are you seeing?” Good question. One morning last week I got my morning online post from Crain’s business and saw these two headlines posted on the same day:
“Honda suspending second shift at Marysville Auto Plant as it cuts back Accord production” and then,
“Truck builder to add 100 jobs as part of $139M Chillicothe expansion” – referring to the PACCAR plant there.
That about sums it up. Some end user companies are booming, some are just rolling along, not bad, but not as good as 2018. Same with a lot of distributors I call on. A few tell me they see it softening while others are very busy. Even booming. Just listened to Fully Threaded Radio with an interview with Kevin Chavis of Star Stainless and George Hunt from Brighton Best – and they essentially said the same thing from their perspectives. And Star and BBI have a national perspective unlike many other companies in our industry.
Additionally, if you get a chance to listen to Fully Threaded Radio, make sure you listen to Mike McNulty and Bob Baer discuss this past month’s FDI results. No kidding, this is one of the best discussions of the economy and our industry that I have heard in a long time. Lots of data and discussion of market indicators. Lots of great insights!! Great segment.
So, maybe it’s not 2018, but it ain’t too bad either!! Only thing that seems to be troubling us is “uncertainty”.
We have several trade shows coming up in the next month including Fastener Fair in Detroit and Fastener Tech in Chicago. The North Coast Fastener Association Distributor Social is on May 9 and an NFDA meeting will be taking place in Cincinnati, Ohio in early June. Between those trade shows and association meetings, there will be a lot of catching up and discussions about the fastener climate as it exists this year. I think people will come away with a better feel for what we’ve been seeing and what we should be looking for throughout the rest of 2019. But uncertainty remains. News of the LindFast group has come up on just about every call I make. People just wondering if they are combining systems, and what is next. A few people might know but the people answering phones and filling your orders don’t seem to know exact details. For the most part it is business as usual. Which makes the upcoming industry events that much more interesting. Whether or not answers are forthcoming, there will be questions asked.
Working on some more “10 minute” segments. Always welcome feedback or suggestions. Some of the people I would love to interview I do not even know personally but we’ll see where it goes.
The NCFA Distributor Social is the next event on the schedule. Hope to see you there. If you happen to get into town on Wednesday night, the day before the Social, there will be an informal gathering at the Winking Lizard. A little pre-Social practice session you might say. Feel free to join in.