You certainly shouldn't drive growth while looking in the rearview mirror, but it's hard to move forward without assessing the past. Spotting trends can enable you to strike at the right time. This is true for many things, not just manufacturing.
While we've presented an Economic Snapshot in the print magazine for years (see p. TK), we finally have brought the feature to our website. Online, we include past Economic Snapshots as well as the current one. This will make it easier for you to review earlier data to gain a better view.
CP's Economic Snapshot provides a quick overview of how the U.S. chemical industry and the overall U.S. economy are doing. Each month it tracks two chemical-industry-specific indicators: shipments and capacity utilization. It also includes data on the Chemical Activity Barometer. This metric, developed by the American Chemistry Council, takes into account that chemical industry activity occurs early in the supply chain and so offers a leading economic indicator for the overall U.S. economy.
Because of the time needed to collect and generate the data, results presented lag the date they are posted by several months.
In addition to posting the economic indicators, we've also started highlighting people on the move in the industry. By including more such news, we help tell a story of the future by detailing where people are going and why they've joined a new company or earned a promotion. Knowing what your peers are up to can provide valuable insights, foster a friendly competition, or alert you to opportunities. We welcome your announcements for consideration. You can e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the webinar front, we have several live presentations lined up for the remainder of the year. On May 20, we will host a dust control webinar that will look at how to realistically control dusts and reduce environmental and safety risks. On June 19, we will address energy efficiency. Because energy usually accounts for a substantial portion of a plant's operating costs, cutting energy consumption can provide substantial savings that go directly to the bottom line. This panel discussion will explore opportunities to pare energy use. I am the moderator for these events and I always look forward to not only the presentations, but the live Q&A session at the end. You can register for these events and more by visiting www.ChemicalProcessing.com/webinars/.
You also can access our Events Calendar, which is populated with up-to-date information on conferences, seminars, webinars and tradeshows. Use this tool to keep you in the loop and ahead of the curve. There's also a link to let you submit events for consideration.
All of this content is in addition to the articles, Ask the Experts Q&A, whitepapers, blog posts and news items we post on a daily basis. Our goal is to be the place to go for all things chemical processing. If you have a suggestion on how to help us hit that target, please let us know. We want to provide what you need to succeed.
Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing's senior digitial editor. You can e-mail her at email@example.com.