Spring is well on its way and for most of us in the metal forming industry 2016 has been a good year so far if you are in the automotive markets, but poor if you are in agricultural, oil and gas, or other industrial markets. As many know we also participate in the industrial and defense/munitions markets.
We are in a period of increasing signs of economic instability and this is reflected in our recently announced Gross Domestic Production (GDP) figures for first quarter growth of .005%…. yes, just ½ percent.
Economists predict U.S. GDP will grow at between 1.5% and 2.0% for all of 2016, in reality an anemic level with global growth slightly above 3%.
Commodity prices will remain under pressure but also swing up and down due to capacity allocations or currency movements. The U.S. dollar is predicted to remain relatively strong. And inflation is shown to start to moderately increase. What does this possibly indicate…..well, perhaps gradual interest rate increases and a slowing total manufacturing output appears to be a strong possibility?
Much of the industrial goods sector continues to have tougher times, yet automotive remains strong and is expected to do so heading into 2017. However, this sector has “flat-lined” for the most part as to overall unit growth.
And lastly, we deal not only with material price lead-times but also base price and scrap pricing instability to a degree not due to demand but primarily due to supply, as several suppliers have shut down or restricted capacities and certain imports have been affected by new tariffs.
Jagemann also exports to many customers in many countries, 17 to be exact. And we continue to ensure we increase our competitiveness to allow continued support in all of our international markets.
With all of the above pressures, what does this mean to us at Jagemann and how do we ensure we continue to deliver value to our customers?
Well, first of all, while we continue to grow, we are also expending additional efforts and capital expenditures towards our efficiencies and quality improvement initiatives. This initiative extends to all aspects of our business…not just the manufacturing floor!
We want to ensure we have continued improving quality levels, overall efficiency gains and reliable deliveries to our customers. We will improve such through our recently expanded Continuous Improvement efforts (CI) which involve all within our company. We have added additional resources to this effort, trained our personnel on the techniques of such, and aggressively requested all of our employees and associates participate in such.
In addition, we have invested and will continue to invest in areas such as handling systems and robotics, secondary processes, supplier selection and development and new technologies to improve our inspection efforts and results.
Lastly, we continue to make investments in capabilities and capacities with new metal forming technologies to not only expand our product offerings, but also our ability to manufacture even more difficult components with ever increasing tighter tolerances and specifications.
The next several years are about us “Just being the Best”.
That’s our goal for all of our stakeholders…..our customers, our employees, our suppliers and all involved with Jagemann.
Thanks’ for your business. We truly appreciate it!