The Light Is Getting Brighter…What Will You Do?

While talking with a large number of manufacturing companies the last few weeks, I have noticed a positive change in attitude. Most companies were optimistic about their business as we started the new year.  The feeling seemed to be that things were getting better and 2010 would certainly show productivity to be on an increase.

These last few weeks however, it seems that they are going to be busier than even they expected. I hear more companies tell me they are currently at their manufacturing capacity. The next step will have to be adding another shift. Before they do anything with Randolph Sterling, they have to gear up for more production.

Companies are investing in their future as new websites and marketing campaigns are in the works. The number of companies who have new websites in the process of being built is growing. Likewise, marketing campaigns are flourishing. And that includes all forms of marketing: email campaigns, social media, and yes, even through the mail. It seems that we are so tired of getting all of these emails, that we delete them without even opening them up. However, with so little mail through the post office, some marketing people are suggesting a return to the mailings.  The rationale being that we get so little mail that there is a better chance of our customers looking at a mailing from us. So, we might be back to depending on the U.S. Post Office again. Not necessarily a good thing.

Former customers who decided to buy their goods from China are starting to return. The cost of goods seems to be about the same, so the big difference is, of course, labor. However, it seems, at least in some areas, that most of those savings are offset by the freight charges from China. Whatever the reason, it seems that some companies are returning to products manufactured here in the good ole USA.

Now, I don’t have any statistics to back up what I’ve said. You might have to go to the Commerce Department or one of a hundred different agencies to get the statistics on all of this. There is a saying about liars and statistics.  And one that says you can make statistics say whatever you want.

All I know is what I see and hear.  For the last five months, temporary staffing agencies are placing more workers as companies are slowly increasing their work force. Budgets have been approved for marketing, which normally is one of the first expenditures taken out of a budget when times are bad.  No longer is reputation or word of mouth enough to acquire new business.  Companies are actively searching for new customers instead of just maintaining what they have.  They are looking at outsourced sales and marketing organizations of all types to assist them with these sales efforts.

Some companies are more interested in a manufacture’s rep firm, where their outside sales people will carry the banner for their company. Others will rely on a solid marketing program, waiting and hoping for the new customers to call.  Others are looking at someone like us, Randolph Sterling, with our inside sales organization, where we can make an impact.  All have their value and place in the sales effort.  Always remember though, you can’t make a sale if you’re not in front of the right people.  That is what we do, and we do it well.


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