Recently Douglas Group had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the 2017 Plastics News Executive Forum in Naples, Florida. This signature conference provided high level conversation on the practical skills and strategies required to manage a manufacturing operation.
Several hundred industry professionals joined together to gain additional insights and perspectives on the plastics industry. The conference looked at many of the economic opportunities and challenges that executives are facing today within the local, national and global markets.
Jason Bean, Manager at Douglas Group, had the honor to present: Plastics M&A Trending Beyond Borders: an Outlook for the Industry. “It’s a seller’s market,” Jason proclaimed. “Most Plastics sectors are selling for one or two turns above historic average multiples.”
The event kicked off with the keynote address from Harry Cohen, on Heliotropic Leadership. At the end of the conference’s first day, attendees dressed in their finest “Havana Nights” attire for the best places to work reception and dinner. Grant John, President of PolySource, accepted the Best Places to Work for 2017 Award.
The second day, the conference opened with Tom Murdough, “Toying with Growth: Lessons on Building a Company from a Serial Entrepreneur.” During his memorable career, Tom founded two very successful companies, Little Tikes and Step2 Co.
The last day of the conference concluded with appetizers and drinks on the Ocean Lawn, with a view of the sunset along the framed courtyard. That evening’s event was Processor of the Year Award Dinner and Red Carpet Gala. Processor of the Year Award went to Dymotek.
Even though many different topics were covered, three key takeaways emerged that require careful consideration and active planning:
- Technology and Processes
The connection between machines and people through advanced technology is transforming the plastics industry and those hesitant to change risk losing market share. Plastic manufacturers that are willing to invest and update their technologies, and facilities will gain significant cost savings as well as gain competitive advantages in manufacturing and supply chain operations.
- Growth Trends and Finding New Opportunities
Global population growth and the overall improvement in living standards are significant factors that continue to drive the plastics industry growth. The effects of increasing prosperity can be seen in many markets for plastics application. Medical engineering has seen the biggest growth, next to flexible packaging, where polymer materials have become essential.
- Controlling Cost
Effectively controlling costs is an ongoing initiative within every successful organization. For most plastics manufacturers, this begins with effectively managing the supply chain.
If you haven’t been, the Executive Forum is an amazing opportunity for leaders of top plastics processing companies to network and share information. We look forward to returning in 2018.