The president of Hytrol Conveyor Co. said he remains cautiously optimistic about prospects for his industry, despite reports of double-digit order and shipment growth, and a solid recovery from the depths of the 2008–09 recession.
Gregg Goodner told attendees at Hytrol's executive summit and sales meeting in Little Rock, Ark., that the company has experienced "steady growth" over the past two years despite still-challenging economic conditions.
"The way we do business now is not the same as it was in 2008," Goodner said. "We have to turn over new rocks and do things differently today."
Goodner also cautioned against complacency. "If we are just sitting back waiting for the economy to come back, we are in trouble. We have to look for new opportunities," he said.
Goodner said Hytrol's adoption of lean manufacturing processes has enhanced efficiencies and helped make May the most successful month in the company's history.
Goodner cited industry statistics from the Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association that showed first-quarter bookings rose 41 percent compared with the first quarter of 2010. Shipments were up by 46 percent, the trade group said.
For the year, Goodner said he expects sales increases of about 11 percent industry wide, with similar growth expected in 2012.
"Even though the economy has not come back yet in all parts of the country, integrators of material handling [systems] are feeling very good about where things are," he said.
The three-day Hytrol event was aimed at helping distributors and systems integrators find new ways to improve their operations and grow their own businesses.