Holland, Mich. - Michael A. Dunlap & Associates, LLC unveils the results of the 39th edition of its quarterly MADA / OFI Trends Survey, a unique tool that designed to measure the current business activity of the commercial furniture industry and its suppliers. This survey was completed during the month of January 2014.
The survey focuses upon ten key business activities, with respondents rating each area on a scale of TEN (the highest) to ONE (the lowest). The business activities are Gross Shipments, Order Backlog / Incoming Orders, Employment Levels, Manufacturing Hours (Overtime vs. Reduced Hours), Capital Investment, Tooling Expenditures, New Product Development Activity, Raw Material Costs, Employee Costs, and the respondents’ Personal Outlook on the industry.
The unique element of this survey is the establishment of an Industry Index Number to quantify where the industry is currently performing. For example, an index of 100 means that things “couldn’t be better”, an index of ONE is “absolutely the worst” it can be, and an index of 50 means it is neutral; no change “up” or “down”.
The January 2014 Overall Survey Index is (54.36), which is virtually unchanged compared to October 2013, which was (54.35). The highest recorded Index was 59.72 in July 2005; the lowest was 41.45 in April 2009. The average overall index is 54.31 since the survey started in August 2004.
“The industry remains on a very steady, but improving, trend line. Actually, this is good news. The Overall Index continues to remain well above “50” and is definitely in line with the 39 Survey average. It indicates that the industry is on solid ground and on a positive track.” Mike Dunlap commented.
The January 2014 survey highlights are:
• Gross Shipments measured 52.28, significantly lower than the 39 Survey Average of 57.35 and Order Backlog recorded 54.36, which is slightly lower than the 39 Survey Average of 56.45.
• The Employment Index of 52.31 is slightly above the 39 Survey Average of 51.81 The Hours Worked Index rose to 54.47 and is slightly below the 39 Survey Average of 55.27.
• The Capital Expenditures rose to 56.58 and Tooling Expenditures slipped to 55.26. These compare to their 39 Survey Averages of 55.32 and 55.60.
• New Product Development fell to 61.54 below the 39 Survey Average of 63.34.
• Raw Material Costs rose slightly to 48.33 and is much better than the 39 Survey Average is 44.13. Employee Costs dipped to 45.61. The 39 Survey Average is 46.85.
• The Personal Outlook Index jumped from 57.38 to 64.62 and is well above the 39 Survey averages of 54.31. This is the highest since January 2006.
Dunlap stated, further “The declines in Gross Sales and Order Backlog index values are somewhat surprising, as both had improved during the first half of 2013. But they are still on solid ground. The same is true for the Employment Levels and Hours Worked index values. Both manufacturers and suppliers appear to be equally affected..
“The modest changes in Capital Expenditures, Tooling Expenditures and New Product Development are mixed when compared to their 39 survey averages. The decline in New Product Development – although solidly in the 60’s - is puzzling.
“The changes in Raw Material Cost and Employee Cost index values are always a concern and rarely show much improvement.
“I am delighted to see the substantial increase of the index in Personal Outlook.”
The most frequently cited perceived threats to the industry’s success are healthcare costs and the costs of materials (steel and wood), the costs of materials and healthcare are the most commonly cited concerns from respondents since this survey process was started in August 2004.
Dunlap again thanked the respondents with this comment. “Over 61% of the responses came from executives who are the Chairman, CEO, COO or President of their organizations. I am always extremely grateful for their participation and support. Their suggestions and recommendations are crucial to the performance and improvement to this unique survey.”Dunlap continued, “This is the 39th MADA / OFI Trends Survey. We started conducting it in August 2004. The flatness in the Overall Index is a good sign. It confirms that the industry is continuing to grow and albeit slowly and steadily..
“ Although 5 out of 10 Index values have improved and 5 out of 10 declined, eight of them remain above the ‘50’ level. I maintain the opinion that the industry will continue on its slow growth period in early 2014, then see a modest acceleration during mid to late 2014.
The January 2014 MADA / OFI Trends survey was sent to more than 750 individuals involved with office furniture manufacturing and suppliers from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America and from companies ranging from more than $1 Billion in sales to less than $10 Million in sales. The survey repeats in April 2014.
For further information, please contact:
Mike Dunlap at
Michael A. Dunlap & Associates, LLC, is a consulting firm that focuses upon issues involving the working, learning, healing, and hospitality environments and furniture industries.
These include strategic business and market planning, furniture industry trends, Market Entry, Global Partnerships, & Collaboration, Author, Presenter, & Speaker, Mergers, Acquisitions, & License Agreements, Expert Witness Services in Products Liability, and Independent Rep Sales Team Development.
Source: Michael A. Dunlap & Associates
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