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My first story today is definitely not lighthearted — sorry Rhoda Miel (that’s what happens when you take a day off!)
But when I read Bill Bregar’s story on what may be a imminent bloodbath in the North American tooling sector, I was reminded of a similar story we published in 2009, at the onset of the Great Recession. Analyst Jeff Mengel, then at Plante & Moran PLLC, warned that 15 percent of North American plastics processors — around 1,000 companies — were facing liquidation over the next 18 months.
Just like Laurie Harbour in our story this week, Mengel gave processors some much-needed advice to help them survive the calamity.
The good news is that many followed his advice. By 2011, Mengel reported that profits and capacity utilization were starting to inch up. Processors had learned to do more with less, resulting in a more efficient industry.
I’ll have more to say on the subject in next week’s Viewpoint column. I can’t wait to see what sort of cartoon Rich Williams comes up with for this one