Letter from Bob Decker, FPDA President
Dear FPDA Members,
As we enter the new year, I want to take a moment to reflect on 2022. We turned the corner on the pandemic that created many challenges for our workplaces and families. While still an issue we must face, we are in a better place with Covid as we enter 2023. Being able to come back together in face-to-face settings has been wonderful.
Though 2023 looks to bring improvements in supply chain issues, we still face challenges with freight issues, pricing issues and certainly looking for employees remains a challenge, but we are beginning to learn how to move forward in the “new normal.” During our annual Summit this past October in Snowmass, CO. these issues were discussed with the guest speakers, within member-only group discussions, and, certainly, in one-on-one conversations between members. Being able to discuss these issues with our peers is very powerful.
In addition, the most recent FPDA Monthly Survey from Cleveland Research shows 2022 finishing with some of the best sales growth our industry has ever seen, and the Survey is projecting 2023 to be a good year, not like 2022, but growth is forecasted. With the strong backlogs most of us have and strength within many of the industries the survey follows, the members who completed the survey are forecasting an overall 7% increase in sales for 2023. Certainly, price increases will make up a portion of the forecasted increase, but still a positive outlook for 2023 is there.
As we look ahead to 2023, we have some exciting new opportunities to learn from our fellow members. Here are overviews of two new initiatives.
At the Summit in October our first class of Future Leaders on Motion (FLM) was introduced to the attendees. This class consists of 5 people from 5 different companies within the FPDA. These 5 Future Leaders met as a group at the summit, learning more about themselves and their peers. Over the weeks that followed they met (via Zoom) with their mentors, getting to know each other and begin the process of learning from their mentor. A nice benefit is that as a mentor I am, also, learning from my mentee! These 5 leaders are now coming together as the FLM team and hearing from voices in the Fluid Power and Motion Control world, learning what this business is all about. In the spring they will be attending University of Innovative Distribution (UID) in Indianapolis. You can learn more about UID by visiting the FPDA website. I highly recommend UID as a place where you can learn more about distribution and build new relationships.
We already have member companies wanting to sign up for the next FLM class that will begin at our 2023 Summit in Tucson, Arizona October 1st thru the 4th. You can reach out to any FPDA board member to learn more about this exciting program.
The next initiative begins Monday January 23rd. We will have our first “Lunch with Leader’s Webinar”. This is a bi-monthly hour-long discussion on topics that are important to FPDA members. On January 23rd, the topic will be Pricing – Best Practices. This is a topic that was suggested at the recent Summit as a follow-up to a Pricing Overview. So come with your questions and your input on pricing on January 23rd at Noon EST. The webinar will be limited to the first 20 members who sign up and the link to sign up will be in the January “What’s Happening This Month with FPDA” email in early January,
Finally, the FPDA Board will be meeting in Tucson, at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in February for our mid-year Board meeting and to get a look at the location for the 2023 Summit. More to come on this visit.
I want to wish you, your employees, and their families a healthy and prosperous New Year.