We may be into the summer months when things tend to slow down with vacations and such but MCAA has seen no signs of any “lazy, hazy days”. Just in the past several weeks we published the Operating Benchmarks Report which looks historically at how our companies have performed over a five year historical period as well as the annual Market Forecast which looks forward for five years to forecast what the market opportunities and volumes should be going forward. Two very different reports–one looking backward and one looking forward.

I found it very interesting to see how this industry bounced back from the Great Recession of 2008 because the Operating Benchmarks Report clearly shows the changes starting at the bottom in 2009 (for us) and working up to 2013. If your company participated, just look at the chart that shows the change over the five years in Income from Operations as a percent of sales which tells a very specific story of the recovery. Traditionally our companies have lagged a recovery and we certainly did that, as other industries started to pull out of the recession in 2009, our recovery did not really start until 2010. And some companies (larger ones) had to cut some positions to “get lean” while small companies had to tighten the belt in other ways while trying to keep their most important asset–their people (the bottom line suffered for sure.). Ed Curry who has reviewed this report for members for more than 20 years did that again yesterday in a webinar. If your company participated, we can send you the recorded session. If not, then you need to consider participating in 2015 so you can see the report and get Ed’s insight next year!

Looking on the other end, Global Automation Research’s data shows that by 2011 we had recovered to our 2008 levels and last year the Process Instrumentation and Automation market in the US was approximately $11.1 Billion. They project a 4.1 CAGR going forward to 2018. They also expect electronic flow and electronic level products to have above-average growth in the future and the oil & gas, chemical and pharmaceutical industries to grow above the average rate here in the US. This report is available to all MCAA members on our website. You’ll note a special focus on Mexico in this year’s report. If you’re not a member you can buy it for $2,500 but if you’re in our industry, chances are dues are comparable and you’ll get a whole lot more.

Speaking of membership, we are poised to cross the 155 member company mark for the first time on our way to reaching our goal of 165 members by the end of the year. Our Membership Development Manager, Mike Robertson, tells me that he has gotten a lot of referrals from all you happy campers who attended the Industry Forum last month and we are excited to follow up and invite those companies into membership. If you are reading this and know of a company–a manufacturer or a channel firm or even a consultant who serves our industry–give me or Mike a call and let us see if you can help MCAA grow.

Yes, its summertime but you’d never know it from the activity level at your trade association–it may be hot and hazy here in southern Virginia but its anything but “lazy.”