Representor Spring 2023 - Marketing Group Digest

Marketing Group Digest


Troy Gunnin
Sun Rep Inc.
Tampa, Fla.

Cautious optimism

I am a veteran of quite a few “trips around the sun.” During the course of those many trips, I have witnessed a lot of “stuff,” both good and bad. These past three years have been unlike anything I have ever experienced. I think we would all agree that it has been difficult to say the very least. With restrictions eased and travel, tradeshows and somewhat normal activities (translated: we are able to visit customers in their facilities) resumed, we anticipated that 2023 would see a return to familiar day-to-day business. To an extent, that is happening. But let’s take a look at a few things that may impact that, both in the short-term and long-term.

Just as I am writing this, we have witnessed two large banks declared insolvent, causing havoc in the industry and making the market nervous. Speaking of the market, I’m sure you have followed the serious drop. Along with that, the Fed is likely to continue to raise interest rates to curb persistent inflation (6 percent as I write this). Yet there is a mixed bag. Unemployment is very low and there are more jobs posted than people looking for jobs. This causes salaries to rise, but not fast enough to keep up with soaring prices. All of this poses the very good possibility of a recession. Add to this the current geo-political climate and there is certainly cause for concern.

With all of that negative, there is still a lot of positive. We are seeing a somewhat return to normal in plant visits. Sales remain fairly strong, particularly in the military and medical markets, and there seems to be cautious optimism. The supply chain, although not fully recovered, is better. We are seeing a lot of dollars invested in domestic manufacturing. These are positive signs that will hopefully continue.

I leave you with the same closing that I shared in the winter issue of The Representor: Stay positive and open to change, and enjoy the ride. It’s going to be (and has already proven to be) an interesting and challenging year.