Business revenues, profits, and capacity utilization decline as layoffs continue. Today, many plastic manufacturers often blame offshore investments and foreign competition for these problems. They plead for intervention by the government in the form of tariffs, investment and energy tax credits, lower environmental and wage standards and other like protections.
These manufacturers lose sight of the fact that we live and function in an increasingly competitive global economy. As living standards increase throughout the industrialized nations, business challenges will certainly increase. Petitioning federal, state and local governments, as many advocate, will not provide the solution to today's loss of manufacturing jobs and profits.
During these times, however, a select few plastic manufacturers thrive, acquire additional businesses, increase revenues, profits, and market share, while others downsize, lay off workers, experience declining capacity utilization, file for bankruptcy and liquidate valuable assets.
One such highlighted business example of this success, Nypro Inc., does not succeed because of luck. Why then are they so successful?
Nypro and other companies commonly share a corporate vision in addition to a shared passion to achieve their visionary goals. They take the time to evaluate themselves, identifying internal strengths and weaknesses, with a commitment to correct the deficiencies. These firms are guided by the markets they serve while taking pride in planning for the ever-changing needs of their fluid customer base.
Successful companies continue to monitor their competition with a determination to maintain a competitive advantage. Markets and customer needs change and will continue to change. These changes are not unique to the plastics industry, nor are they the fault of the government. Certainly, it is neither the government's fault, nor responsibility, to protect our domestic plastic manufacturers from either the effects of these changes or from their own ineptness.
The Nypros of this world will continue to succeed so long as they continue to embrace carefully established plans, including a defined vision, achievable objectives and targeted goals. Neither their past nor their future successes were or will be the result of good luck or the result of, or lack of, government protection. Their models for success are available for everyone, as their strategies are the culmination of a process that all manufacturers can embrace but which few do.
Today's troubled domestic plastic manufacturers did not plan to fail but rather failed to plan. As companies compete in this volatile, highly competitive, and extremely complex business environment, many of their managers feel that they are too busy meeting daily payroll needs and investor pressures and simply do not have time to plan. This at a time when had they better- planned their work and worked their plan they would be reaping the same success as the Nypros of this world.
William J. O'Brien