In our last edition, we posed the question “so what should be on our election wish list this time around?” We added a recommendation that we all start with advocating for policies that recognize and value the role that Manufacturing has had in the building and sustaining of our great nation. With the 2016 Presidential election having now been decided, we certainly have reason for optimism on the Manufacturing front for 2017 and beyond.

The manufacturing economy tends to transcend politics and to rise and fall based on the most basic economic principles that exist. As a manufacturing company our success and the success of our customers is, at its core, based on the core principle of supply and demand. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) estimates that for every dollar spent in manufacturing, somewhere in the area of $1.80 - $3.60 is added to the overall economy. Put another way, every manufacturing employee drives demand for 2-3 workers elsewhere, fueling the expansion of the overall economy. All too often we see the simplest of things get mired down in political rhetoric. So, on the heels of this historic election, are the pieces now in place to support the manufacturing expansion and optimism for which we have been advocating?

When developing future business plans, capital investment strategies and resource planning for 2017 and beyond, we all ask the most basic of questions --- what will the demand for my product or service be and how can we best meet that demand? As we look at some of the foundational sectors of the manufacturing economy like Motors, Transformers, Generators, Aerospace, Housing, Automobile, Railroad and Appliance, they appear to be poised for strength in the coming year(s). This drives our optimism that our customers and the customers that they in turn serve will experience the manufacturing boom that the macroeconomic prognosticators have been speaking of for the last several years.

On the supply side of the market, it appears that that the market has turned decidedly bullish on the Steel sector in the wake of the election results. Steel is an economic building block of sorts in the manufacturing economy. Its overall demand is driven by a wide range of markets and products that touch the lives of every citizen. Focusing on the infrastructure repairs and improvements that have been talked about for over a decade, the belief seems to be that the new administration will address that need with specific actions that will benefit manufacturers across the board. A real commitment to rebuilding our U.S. infrastructure will most certainly drive demand for many of our customer’s products and services. And though it is certainly too early to tell for sure whether the policies and direction that were voted for in November will materialize and take root, we have put ourselves in a strategic position to capitalize on this opportunity for growth. As we put our specific plan in place for 2017, we are eager to support all our customers’ needs as we all look forward to a strong 2017 for manufacturing.

As we close 2016 we would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers and suppliers for your ongoing support throughout 2016. We wish you health and happiness this holiday season and continued success in 2017. And remember, at Sko-Die, we are ---