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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 6 refers to data collected June 1-2 - 231 respondents
  • Week 7 refers to data collected June 15-17 -  209 respondents

Week Seven: Data collected June 15-17

This week's results include data provided by 209 organizations. Participating companies are located across 29 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 7. This week 89 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 third instance when no organizations report being completely shut down.

As of June 17, every single state in the US has begun partial re-opening, many acknowledging the need for manufacturers and construction to reopen again. To stay updated on where each state is in their re-opening plans, visit this map

  • Medical
    • In general, there are some signs that demand and production in this market is beginning to slow slightly.
    • 69% of organizations that typically serve the medical market are still in full operations down from about 77 percent two weeks ago
    • 27% reporting operating at about 50-75 percent. 
    • 4% of companies typically serving medical report operating at less than 50%.
  • Automotive
    • Looking at just two weeks ago, there is some indication those in automotive are operating at higher levels than in the last two months, as automotive companies reopen US factories. 
    • 74% report operations at 50 percent or above (up from 54%  two weeks ago). 23% of automotive manufacturers indicate they are operating at about 25-50%. 
    • Only 2% are operating at less than 25% - down from 12% two weeks ago.
  • Consumer Goods
    • Plastics processors primarily serving the consumer goods market are typically operating at 50% or above (96%); 60% of which are in full operations 
    • Four percent are operating between 25-50%
    • No companies in this market reported operating at 25% or below.

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. Nearly 60 percent of companies indicate that none of their customers are shut down - the highest percentage reported. Another third of companies indicate that 10-20% of customers are shut down. Only 4 percent 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
    • 53% of companies who primarily serve medical report that none of their customers are shut down
    • Additionally, 32 percent say that about 10-20% of their customers are shut down.
    • Another 15% have between 30-50% of customers shut down. 
    • No 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 the last 4 weeks saw a turn for the better for processors serving this market.
    • 65 percent of companies primarily serving the automotive sector report that none of their customers are shut down (up from 23% two weeks ago), and 10 percent report only 10 percent of their customers are shut down - a dramatic rise from the last survey.
    • Another 26% indicate that 20-50% of their customers are shut down,
    • No companies primarily serving automotive report that 60-100% of their customers are currently shut down, down from 40% in mid-April.
  • Consumer Goods
    • 63% of companies serving the consumer goods market indicate that none of their customers are currently shut down.
    • Another 29% report that only about 10-20% of their customers are shut down right now
    • 8% of processors in this segment indicate that 30% of their customers are shut down
    • No processors primarily serving consumer goods indicate that more than 30% of their customers are currently 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 (64%) of companies are fully staffed, while another 29% are staffed around 75%. The percentage of organizations reporting being staffed at less than half continues to remain low - with just 7% reporting. Interestingly, processors are reporting anecdotally to the MAPP staff that they would be staffed at 100% but are currently unable to find employees to fill positions to meet current demand.

  • Medical
    • 71% of companies who typically primarily serve the medical industry are staffed at 90-100% (down from 86% from two weeks ago), and another 27 percent are staffed at about 75%. 
    • Only 2% of companies that primarily serve medical are staffed below 75 percent.
  • Automotive
    • 91% of companies primarily serving automotive are staffed at about 50-100% - up from 82% two weeks ago.
      • 37% - 90-100% staffed
      • 47% - About 75% staffed
      • 7% - About 50% staffed
    • 9% are staffed at less than 50% and none are completely shut down. 
  • Consumer Goods
    • 96% of companies primarily serving the consumer goods marketplace are staffed at 75% or higher.
    • 4% indicate they are about 50% staffed, and none 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, positive changes were reported compared to previous weeks. Luckily the vast majority of processors are reporting either no disruptions (52%) or only minor disruptions with their supply chains (44%). No companies report having major or serious disruptions. Looking ahead over the next 1-3 months processors are not anticipating major issues either (58%). Only three percent of companies reporting indicate they anticipate moderate to major issues over the next 1-3 months.

  • Medical
    • Of companies serving the medical industry 51% reporting no disruptions
    • However, this market is fielding minor disruptions, with 47% reporting small levels of supply chain issues.
    • Looking ahead, 43% of medical manufacturers anticipate minor to moderate supply chain issues in the coming months.
  • Automotive
    • 51% report no major supply chain issues (up from 46%)
    • 47% are having minor disruptions to their supply chain and 2% are experiencing moderate issues
    • Looking ahead, 45% of leaders anticipate minor to moderate supply chain disruptions over the next several months.
  • Consumer Goods
    • Plastics processors in the consumer goods market are reporting issues with supply chain.
    • 60% indicate they have no supply chain issues.
    • 32% report minimal issues or only minor disruptions and 8% have moderate issues
    • Looking ahead, manufacturers in this segment see potential supply chain issues, with 40% 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 two weeks ago. A large majority, 86 percent, of processors report they plan to either maintain current staff or hire additional employees in the near future. However, 14 percent indicate they will have at least some permanent or semi-permanent staff reductions moving forward. 

  • Medical
    • 94 percent of companies primarily serving the medical industry indicate they will either maintain staff (49%) or add additional staff in the next 6-12 months (45%).
    • Six percent of companies in this market will have some permanent or semi-permanent staff reductions - down from 7 percent two weeks ago.
  • Automotive
    • More than other industries, automotive is more likely to be focused on maintaining staff levels or having some minor staff reductions.
    • 49% are looking to maintain staff and 16% are hoping to add staff in the next 6-12 months.
    • However, the other 35% percent are reporting permanent of semi-permanent staff reductions for the near future. 
  • Consumer Goods
    • Looking ahead at staffing levels, 92 percent of executives report they are either looking to add staff 52%) or maintain staff levels (40%) over the next 6-12 months.
    • 8 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 has changed only slightly compared to 2 weeks ago. As of Tuesday, June 17, 33% were forecasting at 95% or above of their 2020 forecast. Another 60% are anticipating coming in at about 75% of their 2020 forecast. Just 5 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
    • 98% of companies primarily serving medical are forecasting revenue through the end of 2020 at 75 percent or above of the 2020 forecast. 
      • 51% at 95%+ or above forecast - down from 66% from the last survey.
      • 47% at 75% percent of 2020 forecast - up from 34% two weeks ago.
    • 2% of companies serving the medical industry anticipate 2020 revenue to be at about 50% of their forecast
  • Automotive
    • 7% of companies report anticipating 95%+ of their 2020 forecasted revenue
    • 74% of companies serving automotive are forecasting revenue through the end of 2020 at about 75% of the 2020 forecast.
    • 17% 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:
      • 28% report 95%+ of 2020 forecast
      • 72% report 75% of 2020 forecast
      • No companies report anticipating 50% or less 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 on 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 and end of June timeframe is less likely compared to previous weeks. 30% 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, 30% report that production levels have not been impacted
    • 3% report production levels have already returned to normal
    • 10% believe they will return to normal sometime during Q2
    • 31% anticipate production levels to return to normal during Q3
    • 13% report levels returning to normal in Q4
    • 15% 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
    • 29% report they believe production levels will return to normal by the end of Q3
    • 19% anticipate levels to return to normal by the end of Q4
    • 44% indicate they do not believe production levels will return to normal at any point in 2020 
  • Consumer Goods
    • 14% report that production levels have not been impacted 
    • 19% indicated production has already returned to normal levels
    • Returning to normal:
      • By the end of Q2 - 5%
      • By the end of Q3 - 28%
      • By the end of Q4 - 14%
    • 23% do not anticipate production levels to return to normal during 2020.

Remember to check this site every Wednesday for the bi-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.