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Industry Pulse Survey

To better understand the overall impact and future state of the plastics industry, MAPP is conducting a weekly Plastics Industry Pulse Survey. Beginning June 4, this survey will be conducted on a bi-weekly basis. This 8-question study takes less than one minute for leaders to complete, but gives insights into how the plastics industry is faring so far - and what executives are anticipating for the future. Participate each Monday morning through your personalized e-mail link to get the results sent to you every Wednesday. (Request e-mail link) As MAPP continues to collect information, we will begin to trend and make predictions based on the inputs given by plastics industry leaders. 


For clarity, throughout the rest of this analysis:

  • Week 1 refers to data collected on April 20-21 - 243 respondents
  • Week 2 refers to data collected on April 27-28 - 248 respondents
  • Week 3 refers to data collected May 4-5 - 251 respondents
  • Week 4 refers to data collected May 11-12 - 282 respondents
  • Week 5 refers to data collected May 18-19 - 252 respondents

Week Five: Data collected May 18-19

This week's results include data provided by 252 organizations. Participating companies are located across 31 states and serve more than 25 primary industry segments. The most common primary industry typically served by respondents this week include medical, automotive, and consumer goods. Each of these primary industries will have its data highlighted this week throughout this article.

At what level is your plant currently operating?

Positive trends for plant operating levels continue in Week 5. This week 82 percent of companies report operating at 50% or greater - while the percentage of companies operating at less than 50% has continued to decline. This week is also the first week when no organizations report being completely shut down.

As of May 19, a majority of states have begun partial re-opening, many acknowledging the need for manufacturers and construction to reopen again. However, Michigan, parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Minnesota and New Jersey continue to have major restrictions in place. To stay updated on where each state is in their re-opening plans, visit this map

  • Medical
    • An industry that has reported generally positive trends recently is beginning to see a slight decline.
    • 70% of organizations that typically serve the medical market are still in full operations down from about 80 percent in recent weeks, and 26% reporting operating at about 50-75 percent. 
    • 4% of companies typically serving medical report operating at less than 50% - while none are reporting operations at less than 25%.
  • Automotive
    • Looking at just one week ago, there is some indication those in automotive are operating at higher levels than in the last three weeks, as automotive companies are pushing to reopen US factories. 
    • 42% report operations at 50 percent or above (up from 33% last week and 30% two weeks ago). 30% of automotive manufacturers indicate they are operating at about 25-50%. 
    • Only 28% are operating at less than 25% - down from 42% one week ago.
    • For the second time in 5 weeks, no processors primarily serving automotive report being completely shut down at this time, compared to 13% two weeks ago.
  • Consumer Goods
    • Plastics processors primarily serving the consumer goods industry are typically operating at 50% or above (85%); 47% of which are in full operations (up from 34% last week).
    • Twelve percent are operating between 25-50% and 3 percent are currently operating at less than 25%.
    • No companies in this market reported full shut down during week 5.

What percent of your customers are shut down?

Continuing a positive trend for plastics organizations, more industry leaders than ever are reporting that the majority of their customers are open. One in four companies indicate that none of their customers are shut down - the highest percentage reported in over a month. Another third of companies indicate that only 10% of customers are shut down. Less than 10% of plastics companies report that more than 50% of their customers are currently shutdown. As customers are re-opening, processors are able to start to operate at higher levels again and hopefully more accurately forecast the next few months of operations.

  • Medical
    • 28% of companies who primarily serve medical report that none of their customers are shut down, while 48 percent say that about 10% of their customers are shut down.
    • Another 20% have between 20-50% of customers shut down. 
    • Only 4% of companies primarily in this segment report more than half of their customers are currently shut down. 
  • Automotive
    • Automotive manufacturers' customers remained shut down at higher levels compared to other industries, but this week saw a turn for the better for processors serving this market.
    • Only about 5 percent of companies primarily serving the automotive sector report that none of their customers are shut down, and 13 percent report only 10 percent of their customers are shut down - a dramatic rise from one week ago.
    • Another 54% indicate that 20-50% of their customers are shut down, and 25% report that 60-80% of their customers are shut down.
    • Only 5% of companies primarily serving automotive report that 90-100% of their customers are currently shut down, down from 21% last week, and 35% two weeks ago.
  • Consumer Goods
    • 31% of companies serving the consumer goods industry indicate that none of their customers are currently shut down.
    • Another 31% report that only about 10-20% of their customers are shut down right now
    • Another 29% of processors in this segment indicate that 30-60% of their customers are shut down, and 6% report at 70% or more of their customers are shut down. 

At what level are you currently staffed?

As customers continue to open up and operations are ramping up for many plastics companies, employers are able to call employees back to work. A majority (58%) of companies are fully staffed, while another 28% are staffed around 75% (up from 21% last week). The percentage of organizations reporting being staffed at less than half has been cut in half, and no organizations are reporting a full shutdown.

  • Medical
    • 72% of companies who typically primarily serve the medical industry are staffed at 90-100% (down 10% from last week), and another 26 percent are staffed at about 75%. 
    • 2% report being staffed at about 50% and no companies that primarily serve medical are staffed below 50 percent.
  • Automotive
    • 70% of companies primarily serving automotive are staffed at about 50-100% - up from 55% last week.
      • 19% - 90-100% staffed
      • 33% - About 75% staffed
      • 19% - About 50% staffed
    • 30% are staffed at less than 50% and none are completely shut down. 
  • Consumer Goods
    • 91% of companies primarily serving the consumer goods marketplace are staffed at 75% or higher.
    • 3% indicate they are about 50% staffed, and 6% report staffing levels at less than 50%.

Have you received Payroll Protection Funds?

Week 3 was the last time MAPP asked companies about their PPP status. However, it is important to note that a majority of companies, 65%, were able to access critical PPP funding during either the first or second round. The full impact of this is yet to be seen. The PPP funds have left many organizations with questions, and companies are reporting that it is not necessarily providing the relief they had hoped or they need more clarity on the scope of forgiveness for these funds. For answers to FAQ about PPP view this FAQ document here.


Are you experiencing supply chain issues that impact your ability to produce?

Looking at the overall supply chain, no major changes were reported compared to previous weeks. Luckily the vast majority of processors are reporting either no disruptions (40%) or only minor disruptions with their supply chains (58%). No companies report having major or serious disruptions. While companies are not reporting major supply chain issues yet, supply chain disruptions are likely on the horizon, with manufacturers not fully feeling the impact yet. Recent reports by IndustryWeek and CNBC point to future risks in supply chain as the world has become reliant on international sources. While many plastics companies are not having issues with their supply chain currently, 51% report they anticipate future disruptions in the next 1-3 months.

  • Medical
    • Of companies serving the medical industry 35% reporting no disruptions
    • However, this market is fielding minor disruptions at a higher rate, with 65% reporting small levels of supply chain issues.
    • Looking ahead, 63% of medical manufacturers anticipate minor to moderate supply chain issues in the coming months.
  • Automotive
    • As automotive companies are opening back up, the percentage of those reporting supply chain issues has increased.
    • Only 40% report no major supply chain issues (down from with 52%)
    • 60% are having minor disruptions to their supply chain (up from 46%)
    • Looking ahead, 58% of leaders anticipate minor to moderate supply chain disruptions over the next several months.
  • Consumer Goods
    • Plastics processors in the consumer goods markets are reporting limited issues with supply chain. 50% indicate they have no supply chain issues.
    • 50% report minimal issues or only minor disruptions
    • Looking ahead, manufacturers in this segment see potential supply chain issues, with 44% anticipating disruption in the next few months.

In terms of future staff planning (next 6-12 months), we are...

To better understand overall future planning, companies were asked about their near-future staff planning, or how staffing would change over the next 6-12 months. Reported plans only revealed minor changes compared to one week ago. A large majority, 83 percent, of processors report they plan to either maintain current staff or hire additional employees in the near future. However, 18 percent indicate they will have at least some permanent or semi-permanent staff reductions moving forward. 

  • Medical
    • 91 percent of companies primarily serving the medical industry indicate they will either maintain staff (41%) or add additional staff in the next 6-12 months (50%).
    • Nine percent of companies in this market will have some permanent or semi-permanent staff reductions - up from 5 percent last week.
  • Automotive
    • Companies serving the automotive sector are split in terms of future staff planning. 56% are looking to maintain staff (44%) or add staff (12%) in the next 6-12 months.
    • However, the other 44% percent are reporting permanent of semi-permanent staff reductions for the near future. 
  • Consumer Goods
    • Looking ahead at staffing levels, 85 percent of executives report they are either looking to add staff (35%) or maintain staff levels (50%) over the next 6-12 months.
    • 15 percent did report that there will be at least some permanent or semi-permanent staff reductions.

How are you forecasting revenue through the end of 2020?

While the industry is changing rapidly, executives were asked how they are currently forecasting revenue through the end of 2020. Each week, this data changes slightly as processors get a better lens through which to view the rest of the year. While more organizations are reporting higher levels of operations, forecasted revenue through 2020 is slightly less optimistic compared to one week ago. As of Tuesday, May 19, 30% were forecasting at 95% or above of their 2020 forecast - down from 34% last week. Another 61% are anticipating coming in at about 75% of their 2020 forecast. Just 9 percent of companies say they anticipate revenue through the end of 2020 to be about 50% of the 2020 forecast. Only 1 percent of processors report forecasting revenue at less than 50% of the 2020 forecast. 

  • Medical
    • 100% of companies primarily serving medical are forecasting revenue through the end of 2020 at 75 percent or above of the 2020 forecast. 
      • 50% at 95%+ or above forecast - down from 65% last week
      • 50% at 75% percent of 2020 forecast - up from 38% last week
  • Automotive
    • 72% of companies serving automotive are forecasting revenue through the end of 2020 at about 75%+ of the 2020 forecast.
    • 26% anticipate revenue through the end of 2020 to be at about 50% of the 2020 forecast. 
    • 2% of companies reporting forecasting at less than 50 of the 2020 forecast - down from 8% last week.
  • Consumer Goods
    • At forecasting through the end of 2020:
      • 32% report 95%+ of 2020 forecast
      • 56% report 75% of 2020 forecast
      • 9% report 50% of 2020 forecast
      • 3% report less than 50% of 2020 forecast
 

At this time, with the information currently available to you and your team, when are you anticipating production levels to return to "normal"?

New to this Pulse Survey starting in Week 3, company leaders were asked to look forward and share when they believe they will experience the elusive "return to normal" or pre-COVID-19 production levels. In the first week of this question, equal percentages of companies reported not seeing an impact to their operations as well as companies believing they will not return to normal anytime in 2020. However, each week the "return to normal" production level timeframe is pushed back. Fewer organizations are reporting that production hasn't been impacted and the end of May timeframe is less likely compared to previous weeks. 25% of companies do not anticipate production levels to return to normal any time in the 2020 calendar year.

  • Medical
    • Of those primarily serving the medical market, 21% report that production levels have not been impacted
    • 21% believe they will return to normal sometime during Q2
    • 35% anticipate production levels to return to normal during Q3
    • 2% report levels returning to normal in Q4
    • 21% do not anticipate production to return to normal in 2020.
  • Automotive
    • No companies primarily serving automotive indicated that production levels have not been impacted. 
    • 9% anticipate a return to normal production levels by the end of Q2
    • 34% report they believe production levels will return to normal by the end of Q3
    • 21% anticipate levels to return to normal by the end of Q4
    • 37% indicate they do not believe production levels will return to normal at any point in 2020 - down from 44% one week ago.
  • Consumer Goods
    • 19% report that production levels have not been impacted 
    • Returning to normal:
      • By the end of Q2 - 4%
      • By the end of Q3 - 41%
      • By the end of Q4 - 15%
    • 22% do not anticipate production levels to return to normal during 2020.

Remember to check this site every Wednesday for the weekly update. If you have suggestions for questions to be added or changed, please e-mail MAPP's membership & analytics manager, Ashley Turrell, at aturrell@mappinc.com.