Manufacturing Productivity Rose 1.3% During 4th Quarter of 2018

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According the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the manufacturing sector labor productivity increased 1.3 percent during the fourth quarter of 2018, as output increased 2.3 percent and hours worked increased 1.0 percent. (All quarterly percent changes in this release are seasonally adjusted annual rates.)

From the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018, manufacturing productivity increased 0.7 percent, reflecting a 2.8-percent increase in output and a 2.1-percent increase in hours worked.

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3 Reasons to See a Silver Lining in the Slowing Economy

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According to Brian Beaulieu, CEO of ITR Economics, there are actually three reasons to see a silver lining in the economic slowdown he expects to happen in the US this year:

  1. Interest rates in general will likely level off/decline

  1. The cost of carrying the national debt will abate in 2019

  2. Housing affordability will likely temporarily cease to be a growing problem

The post provides an overview of ITR’s reasons for predicting the slowdown and some other benefits from the trend.

Click here to see the full ITR blog post.

Industrial Distributors Predict 4% Growth in 2019, According to Baird Survey

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Industrial Distributors surveyed by Baird think they will continue to grow in 2019, albeit at a slower pace of 4% vs 5.9% last year.

Here are some of the highlights of the 2019 Distribution Industry Outlook:

  • 2018 Q4 revenues were up 5.9%, 2019 Q1 outlook is +4.1%

  • General MRO was up 6.8% in 2018

  • Metalworking/Cutting Tools was up 5.9%

  • Safety was up 7%

  • Industrial Supply pricing was up 2%

  • Fasteners were up 4%, expecting continued increases in 2019, especially if tariffs go up to 25%

Expected 2019 trends:

  • Industrial Supply outlook for 2019: up  4% (decelerated growth)

  • Safety: +3.8%

  • OEM Fasteners: +3.4%

  • General MRO: +4.0%

  • Facilities Maintenance/Jan-San MRO: +4.5%

  • Metalworking/Cutting Tools: +5.1%

  • Electrical: +4.0%

Click here for the MDM article on the survey.

Click here to access a recording of the webcast.

2018 Price-Adjusted Manufacturing Production Increased by 3.44%

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According to a recent Industry Today article, US Manufacturing saw continued growth last year—in fact, it’s best overall percentage growth since the initial recession rebound in 2010. Here are some of the key measures from 2018:

  • Price-adjusted production: +3,44%

  • Manufacturing payrolls: +2.37% (the biggest increase since 1993)

  • Durable Goods: +5.27%

  • Non-Durable Goods: +1.56%

  • Primary Metals: +8.36%

  • Fabricated Metals: +4.79%

  • Non-electrical Machinery: +4.94%

Promotional Hats Have a Cost per Impression of Just 3/10ths of a Cent

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The most recent study by the Advertising Specialty Institute showed that promotional products, like hats, offer some of the lowest cost-per-impression rates available to marketers. Since promotional items have long been a favorite of industrial distributors, this is excellent news!

Also highly rated for cost-effective brand impressions: pens, t-shirts, polo shirts, pullovers & jackets, drinkware and calendars.

Click here to download the full report.

66% of Internet Usage is Spent on Social Media

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According to the Salesforce/Pardot Complete Guide to Social Media for B2B Marketers, two-thirds of all internet traffic is devoted to social media. Yet many distributors have no social media presence—or, perhaps even worse, a poorly managed one.

Given the prevalence of social media, and the potential benefits of it, from increased leads and customer loyalty to search engine optimization, distributors need to start investing in social media. To that end, Rivet|MRO has recently introduced its Distributor Social syndicated content service for industrial distributors.

If you're like most independent industrial distributors, you probably haven't put much thought into your social media efforts. Who can blame you? You've got a lot on your plate and little or no staff resources to help with these sorts of marketing activities. Still, you know it would be beneficial to have a stronger social media presence. It's just a matter of time--and interesting content.

That's where Distributor Social comes in. Because we deal exclusively with industrial businesses--primarily distributors--we understand what you, your customers and your prospects are interested in better than anyone but you. Distributor Social is a syndicated social media program designed to lift your social media presence with compelling content geared toward your customers and prospects.

It's a hands-off way for you to have regular impressions of your brand on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. It's a simple way for you to post regular, thoughtful, brand-building information on any or all of these platforms without lifting a finger or spending a fortune. Contact us today to begin your subscription!

Click here to download the guide.

December 2018 Manufacturing Jobs Increased by 32,000

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According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Manufacturing added 32,000 jobs in December. Most of the gain occurred in the durable goods component (+19,000), with job growth in fabricated metal products (+7,000) and in computer and electronic products (+4,000). Employment in the non-durable goods component also increased over the month (+13,000). Manufacturing employment increased by 284,000 over the year, with about three-fourths of the gain in durable goods industries. Manufacturing had added 207,000 jobs in 2017.

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Just 6% of Industrial Distributors Consider Themselves High Marketing Performers

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According to a recent MDM survey, only 6% of industrial distributors consider themselves to be “high performers” when it comes to marketing. 67.87% view themselves as moderate performers and 26.11 see themselves as under performers.

The most important marketing vehicles to industrial distributors are, in order of importance:

  1. Email

  2. Search Engine Marketing

  3. Trade Shows

  4. Social Media

  5. Print Flyers

For access to the full report, an MDM premium subscription is required. Click here for the full report.

For help improving you marketing results, be sure to contact us—we can help in every category above and more! Be sure to ask about our Co|optizer co-op maximizer program—we can help you find free manufacturer co-op funds to help you grow your business at no cost to you!

Manufacturing Industry Executives Predict 5.7% Growth in 2019

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From MDM:

Economic growth in the United States will continue in 2019, say the nation's purchasing and supply management executives in the December 2018 Semiannual Economic Forecast. Expectations are for a continuation of the growth that began in mid-2009, as indicated in the monthly ISM Report On Business. The manufacturing sector is optimistic about growth in 2019, with revenues expected to increase in 17 manufacturing industries. The non-manufacturing sector also indicates that 17 of its industries will see higher revenues. Capital expenditures, a major driver in the U.S. economy, are expected to increase by 6 percent in the manufacturing sector and by 3.4 percent in the non-manufacturing sector. Manufacturing expects that its employment base will grow by 2.4 percent, while non-manufacturing expects employment growth of 2 percent.

Manufacturing expectations for 2019 are positive, as 64 percent of survey respondents expect revenues to be greater in 2019 than in 2018. The panel of purchasing and supply executives expects a 5.7 percent net increase in overall revenues for 2019, compared to a 5.1 percent increase predicted for 2018 over 2017 revenues. The 17 manufacturing industries expecting revenue improvement in 2019 over 2018 — listed in order — are: Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Wood Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Primary Metals; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Transportation Equipment; Furniture & Related Products; Chemical Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Paper Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Textile Mills; Machinery; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Plastics & Rubber Products.

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