ERA Quick Connections - Current Issue

Welcome to the January issue of ERA’s monthly wrap-up, designed to provide you with a quick, convenient way to catch up on information, announcements and other news you may have missed.

Watch for future issues coming during the first week of every month.

To share recent newsworthy or noteworthy items and/or calendar dates with your fellow members, please email

POS Index Update

* Budde Marketing, which provides monthly POS Index reports to ERA members, has issued its latest summary, running from January 2016 through November 2017. Go to to view the new index. The report shows that November 2017 activity was 7 percent above the January 2016 base point, and 7 percent above November 2016 POS numbers. Although November wasn’t the best month of 2017, it was still near the year-to-date number of 8 percent up for 2017. For details on Budde Marketing’s services, visit

Industry News and Other Items of Interest

* Remember that manufacturing data reports from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) are released on or about the first of every month and can be accessed at ISM. The Jan. 3 report says economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in December, and the overall economy grew for the 103rd consecutive month. Also, of the 18 manufacturing industries included in the December report, the computer and electronic products sector was one of 16 reporting growth.

* Semiconductor sales grew by 22 percent in 2017 to reach a record $419.7 billion, according to Gartner. Increased sales of memory chips due to shortages of NAND flash and DRAM accounted for about two-thirds of overall chip market growth. See EETimes for details.

* The industrial IoT market, valued at $113.71 billion in 2015, is expected to reach $195.47 billion by 2022. Growth is being driven by technological advancements in semiconductor and electronics industries, cloud computing technologies, and the need to implement predictive maintenance techniques in industrial equipment. See more at BusinessWire.

* The wearables market is expected to grow from 113.2 million in shipments in 2017 to 222.3 million in 2021, according to the International Data Corporation. Watches, both smart and basic, are expected to increase from 61.5 million in 2017 to 149.5 million in 2021 as more vendors and cellular connectivity built into smartwatches help to drive growth in this category. See the full report at EPSNews.

* Emotion artificial intelligence (AI) systems are becoming so sophisticated that by 2022 personal devices will know more about an individual’s emotional state than his or her own family. AI is generating multiple disruptive forces that are reshaping the way people interact with personal technologies. Learn more at Gartner.

* Total North American PCB shipments in November 2017 were up 4 percent compared with November 2016. The PCB outlook will remain positive, based on strong order growth in recent months. Read more at IPC.

* Global defense spending is forecast to reach $1.67 trillion in 2018, the highest level since the end of the Cold War. The jump in spending is due in large part to a potential 4.7 percent rise in U.S. military spending in 2018. Visit CNBC to view the full report.

* Consumer confidence remained high in December, according to the Conference Board’s index. Confidence has been fueled by the strong job market, stock market surge and tax cuts passage. Click on CNNMoney to read more.

* Ninety-three percent of digital marketers expect to increase their budgets in 2018, according to an Ascend2 and Research Partners study. Social media and content marketing were noted as digital marketers’ most effective digital tools, while only 13 percent viewed email as an effective tactic. Visit MediaPost to learn more.

* The key to a great future employee isn’t skill set or GPA, but the environment and the people who surround that employee. Having a true team that holds him or her accountable drives results, writes Jeff Boss, co-founder of Chaos Advantage. Visit Forbes for details.

* The best leaders not only build strong teams, but understand how to keep them in place. Steve Goldstein, president of Engaged Leadership Advisors, shares five signs to watch out for when an employee is considering leaving. See Bulova for more information.

ERA Updates

* The ERA Conference Committee has blocked tee times on Feb. 25, 2018, at Grey Rock Golf Club prior to the start of ERA’s 49th Management and Marketing Conference. Attendees can reserve tee times on a first come, first served basis, Feb. 16 by calling the club at 512-288-4297, x2, and reference the ERA group name. The $72 fee includes a staged cart, scorecard and range balls. Contact Erin Collins for more information.

* The online edition of the Winter 2018 issue of The Representor magazine will be available on the ERA website early next week. The cover story, “2018 Industry Forecast: ERA survey findings show positive industry growth this year,” features detailed results of an ERA member survey conducted in December 2017. To read the issue online or download a pdf, visit Representor.

* ERA’s next free teleforum will be held on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, at 4 p.m. EST. The topic, “Your Digital Image in Today’s Selling Environment,” will be discussed by sales coach/consultant Nicki Weiss. Watch for more details on the teleforum coming soon. Don’t forget that the audio files of all past teleforums are always available to members. Click on TeleforumLibrary to download the teleforum files.

* The ERA White Pin Group is pleased to announce that John Hutson, CPMR, of the Massachusetts-based MacInnis Group is the 2017 recipient of the Jess Spoonts – ERA White Pin Scholarship Award. Hutson will receive a $1,000 grant that can be used to fund his continuing education as a professional field sales representative. For more information, see ERAWhitePin.

* Join the conversation on ERA’s social media sites. Check out Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and the association’s professional LinkedIn group.

For Your Calendar

* Click here to browse the searchable ERA Industry Calendar listings!

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