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There’s less pressure, more concern and the charts are pointing downwards. But a worsening economy can also involve new insights and possibilities.

At Elmia Subcontractor the experts shared their best tips and advice for an unfavourable economic climate.

“My message to the industry now that things are a bit quieter is to make the most of this time,” says Fredrik Sidahl, CEO of the Scandinavian Automotive Supplier Association (FKG).

Something’s happened since this time a year ago. That was the message from Sanna Arnfjorden Wadström, CEO of the Swedish employers’ association for industrial and service companies, Sinf, when she presented the Subcontractors’ Barometer at Elmia Subcontractor. No less than 57 percent of subcontractors in Sweden believe that the business cycle will weaken within six months.

Compared with the same quarter last year, that figure has increased by 24 percentage points.

“The figures are pessimistic even for the Q4 prognosis. We haven’t had such pessimistic figures since 2012,” she says.

But. Companies have learned from the previous downturn.

“We’re seeing that they’re working actively to turn the negative trend around, and our lawyers at Sinf are getting more and more questions about how companies can prepare themselves.”

More companies are increasing their marketing while also looking around for new customers. But there are also other routes. Such as investing in automation or finding new business opportunities, two points emphasised by Fredrik Sidahl, CEO of the Scandinavian Automotive Supplier Association (FKG), when he presented the Vägvisaren survey. That also indicated a downward trend and an uncertainty for the future.

“Knowing that you don’t know – that’s the worst situation of all for the industry. What I want to tell people is to keep their ear to the ground of world politics and translate that to fit your own workshop,” he says. 

  • Seize the opportunity ­– think outside the box and find new business paths.
  • Increase your marketing.
  • Try to find new customers.
  • Automate your production process.
  • Keep one foot on the accelerator, one on the brake, and your ear to the ground.
Published
11/15/2019
Images
Fredrik Falkenström, CEO of OEM Motor, offers visitors individual meetings during Elmia Subcontractor.
Fredrik Falkenström, CEO of OEM Motor, offers visitors individual meetings during Elmia Subcontractor.