The presentations at IEOC wrapped up with what I feel were the best two talks. Thus, it was a big finish.
Dr. Bill Conerly of Conerly Consulting LLC titled his talk "How to Manage Your Business with Hard-to-Forecast Sales." This is an interesting topic for all in attendance. 2008 through mid-2010 have been very difficult times to forecast. We all, of course, experienced a very deep decline in business through the Great Recession. In fluid power, we saw a rapid increase in business this year.
Were the gains real or part of the Bull-Whip effect? It looks like both making forecasting even more difficult. Dr. Conerly went into detail on some of the factors that are affecting our current economy and explained ways to deal with them. You can find him at
The anchor presentation was given by Eaton Chief Economist and NFPA favorite, Jim Meil. Jim's data is the most relevant to the fluid power industry as he goes through the many key points weighing on our industry.
His specific fluid power recovery figures were most impressive. The total U.S. Fluid Power figures reflect a 57.6% recovery over the past twelve months. Keep in mind the deep drop in sales over the previous twelve months. The overall theme seemed to be that most markets have recovered about halfway back to the 2008 levels.
All in all, this was a very informative conference. I commend the great efforts of the NFPA staff led by Executive Director Eric Lanke. I also specifically recognize the passion and dedication of staff members Eric Armstrong, Sue Chase, Pete Alles, Leslie Miller, and Denise Rockhill. This is a group of great performers and our industry is fortunate to have such an excellent team at the helm of our industry association.