In the 1989 film “Dead Poets Society,” an English teacher played by actor Robin Williams, inspires his students by teaching poetry. Williams character, John Keating also teaches them life lessons. In the first scene in the film Keating stands on his desk. In the final scene his students do. The acts symbolize seeing the world from another point of view. In our last blog we gave you a snap shot of the marketplace for 2019. This week we thought we’d give you a different perspective from ThomasNet. The 120-year-old company is a data, platform and technology organization that has become the leading resource for the industrial marketplace. 

ThomasNet delved into some data to look at products and services with the highest procurement rates in 2018. Here’s what they found.


Top Services Sourced in 2018


1. CNC Machining 2. Plastic Injection Molding 3. Metal Fabrication
4. Metal Stamping 5. Tube Fabrication & Bending Services
  1. Machining
7. Sewing Contractors 8. Non-Destructive Testing Services 9. Contract Manufacturing
10. Electronic Contract Manufacturing 11. Nutritional & Supplement Contract Manufacturing

12. Contract Packaging Bottle Filling

13. Private Label Manufacturing 14. Third Party Logistics (3PL) Services 15. Electronic Manufacturing Services
16. Heat Treating Services 17. Warehouse & Distribution Services 18. Contract Packaging
19. Calibration Services 20. Laser Cutting Services  


Top 20 Products Sourced in 2018


1. Steel 2. Printed Circuit Boards

3. Corrugated Boxes

4. Plastic Bottles 5. Food Products 6. Lumber
7. Aluminum 8. Fasteners

9. Special & Custom Machinery

10. Glass Bottles 11. Plastics 12. Packaging
13. Plastic Bags 14. Stainless Steel 15. Precast Concrete
16. Aluminum Extrusions 17. Point of Purchase Displays 18. Automation Equipment
19. Pumps.    


Production in the U.S. is estimated to grow 2.8 percent from 2018-2021.  As business expands the need for skilled workers in areas like metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing has also risen. In a report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, retirements are expected to create an estimated 2.7 million jobs while 700,000 jobs are attributed to natural business growth. Attracting a new breed of workers from among millennials, Gen Y and Centennials is another hurdle. 

These issues have manufacturers thinking differently while working to change the perception of manufacturing. They’re looking at modernizing the systems that run their businesses, making better use of existing workers, and improving operations.  This means they will also be looking at technology like coordinate measuring machines. Stay tuned. We’ll be talking about the role we see CMMS taking in 2019.

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