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  • Category A
  • Published on: January 17, 2020
  • Posted by: Tim Robbins
  • 4 min read

Buy. Hire. Spend. Now!

Did we get your attention? Our quarterly ISA Advisor has been released, and given the 2020 outlook for the market, addressing your equipment and labor needs now could be the right strategy for your company.

The Trend to Watch

The US Industrial Production index (Mining, Manufacturing and Electric and Gas) has been declining since a previous peak in August. According the most recent issue of the ISA Advisor, annual industrial activity will continue to decline through mid-2020 followed by a continued rise into at least late 2021.

The Factors that Matter

A contracting manufacturing sector may mean decreased demand for MROP products. Interest rates are also relatively low making lending cheaper for borrowers. Following the ISA Advisor prediction, the industrial market will rebound mid-year 2020 requiring more capacity in the channel to meet increased demand.

Before we get to the point, answer these questions.

  1. Has your business followed the previous economic cycles (think back to 2018)
  2. Do you have plans to upgrade your operations but are not sure when the right time is?
  3. If demand were to increase, do you have the headcount needed to support such an increase?
  4. Are you developing the skills and competencies needed within your company to succeed in the future? 

The Point

With all signs pointing to annual industrial activity continuing to decline through at least first half of 2020, the time to strike could be now. If you said yes to any of the questions listed above, consider these three strategies today:

Buy Now

It takes time to get your new tools up and running. Give yourself this potentially slower half a year to build your capacity. For example, automate or boost your web presence by launching e-commerce. The trick is to buy now as interest rates are low and you’ve maybe got some extra time to burn on something valuable for down the road.

Hire Now

Recruiting top-talent for your company is very expensive and time consuming. According to the 2019 ISA Distributor Annual Performance Report, recruiting and hiring skilled workers was the most significant challenge facing the survey respondent companies.

Investing in the right talent now will put you in an excellent position to meet the capacity demands coming in the second half of 2020. Pro-tip… to take your recruiting to the next level, consider making your company more inclusive in order to attract the most qualified candidates.

Get Smarter Now

Invest in your company’s competencies. With the pace of innovative change happening at record speed, you and your company can’t just keep pace- You’ve got to get out ahead of the changes. Use this time to first take a hard look at your company with eye out for possible efficiencies and improvements. What is your data telling you about your business? How are you doing in relation to your peers? As with any decision to invest, you can’t just rely on instincts, you’ve got to make decisions based on actionable data

Second, consider investing in talent development. This could mean sending high-potential younger employees to a workshop or seminar, implementing a mentorship program, or perhaps most important, investing in your own leadership development. Doing this will not only boost your company’s performance, it will help you retain your talent saving you the big dollars normally spent on turn-over. Boosting your company’s performance through careful analysis, professional development and employee retention sounds like a perfect investment during these coming slower months.

So, if your company is tracking with the trends and has some extra time to build capacity, you might want to do it now as opposed to when economy comes back. That’s when you want to be investing in driving that top line figure.

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What is the ISA Advisor?

The ISA Advisor is an industry report published quarterly by ITR Economics specifically for ISA Members

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