Analysts and pontificators will expend huge amounts of energy trying to determine what kind of a year 2017. When it comes to the wood- working industry, we look to facts and figures, and they tell us this
has been a growth year.
This edition of FDMC is our annual Almanac Issue. It’s filled with
mountains of data to give a detailed
picture of the woodworking industry. Kudos to my
colleague Karen Koenig for doing the painstaking
work of compiling and checking this data. It gives you
hard facts for your own business plans.
We’re a bit old-fashioned in this regard. We’re
much more inclined to let the facts and figures do
the talking, permitting you to
do your own analysis as those
facts and figures pertain to
your unique situation. On the other hand, when it
comes to forecasting the future, it
doesn’t hurt to hear a few opin-
ions. We asked a wide variety
of people across the industry
to share what they see in their
crystal balls for 2018. They are
mostly optimistic about what lies ahead in
the new year, but a number offer cautionary advice,
particularly as it relates to specific market segments.
There will always be challenges to business success, but I am confident the woodworking industry
has the talent, technology, and tenacity to make 2018
another great year. ;
Facts, figures, and forecasts
Our annual Almanac Issue gives you the data you need to get
a clear picture of the woodworking industry.
by William Sampson
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When will good times end?
The year 2017 will be listed as another strong
one for the wood products industry. We’ve just
started work on the FDMC 300, but we could
expect another gain in annual sales.
Using that measure, a positive year in sales
in 2017 would represent six years in a row of
increases. That comes after five years in which
sales fell after the recession.
When will the good times end? There’s no
large-scale negative indication out there, at least among
the companies that we talk to.
We have seen companies
have grown more carefully
than they did in the last boom.
At that time, companies were
expanding their buildings, opening
new locations, making large equipment
investments and hiring as many people
as they could.
This time, they are investing in
technology, but are doing it in
stages. They’re becoming more efficient, trying to
achieve greater productivity with the same num-
ber of people. When the next slowdown comes,
many companies will be better positioned to
handle it than they were 10
When the good times end
this time, it may not matter as
much as it did last time. ;
by Karl D. Forth
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in his weekly blog at