According to the 2009 Economic Outlook Survey from Troy, N.Y.-based GlobalSpec, engineering, technical, and industrial professionals have felt the impact of the economic slowdown on their businesses, yet are still working on specific types of projects, as well as specifying and purchasing products and services. More than 3,800 GlobalSpec registered users — comprised of engineering, technical, industrial and manufacturing professionals — completed the survey, designed to gather data and report on the 2009 North American economic outlook from the point of view of professionals working in the industrial sector.
In the face of the economy, engineering, technical and industrial professionals are continuing to specify and purchase products and services. Top products and service areas where respondents will be spending the same or more money in 2009 compared to 2008 include electrical components, mechanical components, calibration and testing services, and electronic components.
Results indicate the industrial audience is performing an increasing amount of work, research, and product search online. A full 42% of engineers and technical professionals spend six or more hours per week on the Internet for work-related purposes, and 62% visit six or more work-related Web sites each week. Online media represents four of the top five resources used by engineers to search for suppliers, products, components and services, and 46% of respondents read e-newsletters at least daily or several times per week.
The survey shows that engineering and technical professionals will be spending more time and effort entering new markets, researching future projects, saving energy, and working on new product design and development — leading to near-term spending, with more than two-thirds of respondents indicating that they will be working on more or the same number of projects in 2009 compared to 2008. According to respondents, 50% are spending more time on projects to save energy, 48% on projects to reduce waste/scrap, and 47% on projects to decrease quality rejects.
“In today’s challenging business environment, it’s more important than ever to understand how your customers are affected by the economy, focus on specific target markets that are most viable and maintain marketing frequency and consistency where the greatest opportunity exists,” says Angela Hribar, GlobalSpec chief sales and marketing officer. “Companies looking to gain their share of market opportunity during these uncertain times should consider reviewing the markets they sell into and seeking out new markets if appropriate, fine-tuning their messaging to address the types of projects that industrial professionals are working on, and right-sizing marketing spend to reach their target audience where they are looking — online.”