News Story of the Year: Economic Roller Coaster Impacts Industry
The economy had a significant impact on the November election as the country elected a new president and appears to be turning more toward government intervention in major sectors of the U.S. economy.
By Chaille Brindley
Date Posted: 1/1/2009
From skyrocketing fuel prices to a collapse in the financial sector and the burst of the housing bubble, the ups and downs of the economy must be the news story of the year. A few months ago, many pallet companies reported that their business levels dropped off a cliff as dwindling consumer confidence has led to a significant drop in consumer spending. The overall forest products industry had already been taking it on the chin for a few years, and the recession is making bad times even worse. Consolidation and mill closures continue to raise questions about the long-term stability of domestic lumber supplies.
Throughout the year, the
Hakan Ekstrom of Wood Resources International spoke to the
Global commodity prices have experienced significant shifts in 2008. Oil and steel prices reached historic levels earlier in the year and have since dropped as the slowdowns in the
General tips included increased communication with customers, utilize lean manufacturing principles to reduce costs, take advantage of tax breaks, negotiate with suppliers, continue sales and promotion efforts, diversify product lines, pass through higher commodity costs, keep a tight watch on cash flow, develop good relationships with bankers and other financing options, watch dead beat accounts, keep your debt as a small percentage of your revenue, prepare in the good times for the bad times, etc.
My November column discussed a survey done by the Pallet Profile Weekly on the current state of the economy and industry debt strategies. Our research found that 73% of respondents reported worsening cash flow situations. I highlighted 12 steps to prepare for whatever lies ahead in 2009.
The economy had a significant impact on the November election as the country elected a new president and appears to be turning more toward government intervention in major sectors of the
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