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Distributor's Link Magazine Spring 2018 / Vol 41 No2


46 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK GLOBALFASTENERNEWS.COM by JOHN WOLZ EDITOR END OF 2017 FIN SURVEY: MAJORITY SAY SALES UP Just shy of 80% of participating companies in the 39th annual Fastener Industry News Survey plan to raise fastener prices in 2018. Just 4.17% of the End of 2017 FIN Survey participants expect to lower prices and one quarter predict no change in prices. That follows nearly 80% reporting 2017 costs were higher than 2016. Of that 70.83% reported “Moderate” increases and 8.33% “Strong” cost increases. Just eight percent found “Moderate” cost decreases and 12.5% no change during 2017. ¤ TWO THIRDS OF PARTICIPANTS REPORTED SALES INCREASES for 2017 vs 20.8% experienced sales drops and for 12% sales were level. The percentage reporting sales increases was above 60% in the 38th annual FIN Survey at the end of 2016. The sales forecast for 2018 showed three-fourths anticipate a sales increase; 16.67% a decrease; and 8.33% expect sales to remain the same as 2017. ¤ NEARLY A 70% MAJORITY ANTICIPATE A PROFIT INCREASE in 2018. Predicting an increase: 69,75%; Unchanged 21.74%; Decrease 8.7%. ¤ CAPITAL EXPENDITURES FOR 2018: Twelve percent forecast capital expense increases; more than two-thirds plan to decrease; and 8% unchanged. That prediction follows 20.83% reporting a strong increase in capital expenditures for 2017 over 2016 and another 29.17% a “moderate” increase. More than onethird reported unchanged capital expenditures; 8.3% a “moderate” decrease and 4.1% “strong” decrease. ¤ COSTS IN 2017: A 70.8% majority found “Moderate” cost increases in 2017 and another 8.3% “Strong” cost increases. Costs were unchanged for 12.5% and a “Moderate” decrease for 8%. ¤ COSTS IN 2018: A 57% majority predict cost increases in 2018; 21% decrease; and 21% remaining the same. That follows more than three quarters reporting cost increases in 2017 over 2016: 8.33% “strong” increases; 70.83% “moderate” increases; 8% cost decreases; and 12.5% with costs unchanged. ¤ MANUFACTURERS participating in the FIN Survey reported operating from half to 90% of capacity – for an average of 70.2%. They forecast a slightly higher level for 2018 at 75.4%. Steel prices have risen an average of 7.1% in the past six months. ¤ DISTRIBUTORS: What was your gross margin on fasteners in 2017? Gross margin ranged from zero to 65%, averaging 37.7% ¤ INVENTORY TURNOVERS: Participants reported inventory turnovers from 1.8 to 28, averaging 2.85. ¤ EMPLOYEES: Half the companies added employees during 2017; employment total remained the same for one-third; 16.7% decreased the number of employees. What percentage of pay increase will your company give employees in 2018? The figures ranged from zero to 5%, averaging 2.9%. BUSINESS FOCUS ARTICLE CONTINUED ON PAGE 134

AZ Lifting Hardware (AZLH) is proud to announce the sales team of Toal and Associates will represent them in the states of Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and southern Illinois. Toal and Associates was established in 1964 by Robert Toal to serve fastener and industrial distributors in the central Midwest markets. Mike Toal, who covers Kansas and Nebraska, joined the agency in 1986 opening a second office in Kansas City. In 1995 Steve Oelklaus, who covers Missouri and southern Illinois, came on board to expand coverage out of the St. Louis office. Toal represents several complimenting product lines which also sell only through distribution mirroring the AZLH philosophy. “I met Mike Toal at the Fastener Show in Las Vegas this past year. After several conversations we recognized our goals were similar and the customer type Mike and Steve targeted would be a perfect fit for us.” Says Chuck Smith, president of AZLH. “We’re excited to have solid representation in this market; there is no doubt we will be do better job serving our customers with the Toal team on board.” Contact Mike Toal 913-568- 5808/ and Steve Oelklaus 314-308- 6262/ For more information, contact AZ Lifting Hardware at contact them at 7150 W. Roosevelt St. Ste C101, Phoenix, AZ 85043. Tel: 1-888-936-1466, Fax: 623- 936-8909 or visit them online at THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 47


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