Every January, Stone World presents its annual Fabricator Market Forecast, where hundreds of stone fabrication professionals from around the country present their expectations for the coming year as well as their feelings for the long-term. This study also asks fabricators how they plan to spend their money for the coming year, with specific investments and dollar amounts cited.
Up until a few years ago, I used to love reading this survey -- as it confirmed the incredible growth we were seeing in the fabrication sector. Pretty much everyone said they were growing at a significant rate, and shop owners proudly revealed their plans for major investments in machinery, stock, personnel, showrooms and other improvements. More importantly, as the year went on, they followed through on these plans -- sometimes even exceeding their initial investment plans. These developments provided excellent opportunities for me as a reporter, because I knew there would be plenty of options for covering these new developments over the year. Every time I traveled somewhere for a trade show or other industry events, I made sure I visited a couple of fabrication shops in the area to see those gleaming new CNCs, bridge saws, polishers and other machines.