Expectations were tempered at the beginning of 2017 given uncertainty about the overall direction of the economy and the new presidential administration in the US. Rotor Clip continued promoting its full line of retaining rings, so customers could reduce their transaction and shipping costs by buying frxom a single source for all of their retaining ring/wave spring needs.
As the year progressed, things began to change. Industrial growth soared and unemployment hit new lows in the US and Europe, increasing a demand for consumer products and, by extension, the fasteners we all produce. The lesson this spurt taught us was that you must remain flexible and maintain the ability to respond to sudden market fluctuations, through careful planning and strong ties with key suppliers.
Despite the positive end to 2017, the future still holds its share of uncertainty. Immigration, populist movements, the threat of trade wars, all add elements of instability – a condition that is anathema to world markets. The political response to these issues will be key in easing concerns and generating the confidence needed to spur growth and conduct business as usual.
Other challenges include the dramatic shift to electric and autonomous vehicles announced in 2017 by major automotive companies, and entire countries, most notably China, which has set a goal of selling 5 million electric cars by 2020. Since so many components and assemblies go into current gasoline vehicles, it is safe to say that there will be a seismic shift in the traditional application of fasteners as these assemblies morph into simpler devices or disappear altogether. In short, the very supply chain we rely on will be altered in a most dramatic way with new players emerging and older, more traditional ones, fading away.
The fastener industry will be swept up in this change and we might possibly see an increase in acquisitions and mergers as companies vie to compete with the changing future landscape.
Rotor Clip’s challenge, then, is to become more than a manufacturer of non-threaded fasteners. Rather, we need to identify the key players in this new supply chain and provide not merely products, but fastener solutions. We intend to do this through engineering and technical expertise, strategic upgrading of our equipment and facilities, attentive customer service and worldwide support.
Will joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine in 2007 and over the last 10 years has experienced every facet of the fastener sector - interviewing key figures within the industry and visiting leading companies and exhibitions around the globe.
Will manages the content strategy across all platforms and is the guardian for the high editorial standards that the Magazine is renowned.