DIEMAKERS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS
Steel rule die manufacturers must confront the challenges of price pressures and technology investments.
A two-part industry survey, developed and conducted by the International Association of Diecutting and Diemaking (IADD) and packagePRINTING, gathered diemakers' perspectives on the business climate as of June 2001, and then reassessed the landscape after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Who are today's diemakers?
In tallying the results of the survey, the expected profile emerged of an industry of small, established, family-owned companies. The highest percentage (46 percent) of responding die shops has 25 employees or less, and has been in business an average of 27 years. Seventy-seven percent are family-owned, and the majority of respondents (69 percent) had sales in the $1 million-$10 million range in 2000.
More than half (54 percent) have seen major management changes in the past three years, with 31 percent reporting the reorganization of divisions or departments; 17 percent citing a transition to next-generation management; and 6 percent seeing the sale of a division or of the entire company.
Steel rule die manufacturers reveal that, most often, business comes from a wide array of sources. Seventy-one percent report having accounts of varying sizes/from varied end-use markets. Just 23 percent say their customer roster consists of a small number of large core accounts. Only 17 percent glean the majority of their work from a single end-use market.
Characterizing the business climate
As of June 2001, the business outlook appeared challenging, but not without a few bright spots. Fifty percent of responding die shops said business has been steady over the past three years, and another 29 percent noted business had grown during this period. Share of market reports also brought some good news, with 56 percent seeing increases over the past three years, and 35 percent holding steady. Annual growth also favored the positive, with 52 percent citing an increase, and 38 percent holding steady.