In late summer of 2008, Concrete Sawing & Drilling Association (CSDA) developed a short survey for contractor and manufacturer members as a means of collecting operating and budgeting data. The response rate was extremely high. Thirty percent of contractor members responded while 20% of manufacturer members responded.

Contractor Survey Summary

As far as contractors are concerned, approximately half expect to purchase new equipment during the coming year while half do not. Half will add new services while half will not. Forty-four percent will increase expenditures for advertising while 56% won't. Of particular interest is what services will be added. Twenty percent of the respondents said that they will add ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and demolition (soft and hard) and 12% said they will add surface preparation. A smaller number said they will expand their current list of sawing and drilling services by adding wire sawing so it would appear that there is some growth to be expected in the wire sawing market. Seventy-one percent of the contractor respondents said that they are experiencing increased productivity in their operations and 50% of these believe it is due to an increase in training while 36% said it was because of better equipment. Seventy-five percent of the contractors believe they will be able to increase their prices by no more than 5%. The geographic area that contractors believe will be impacted the most by decreasing prices is the Southeast.

With regards to cost of operations, contractors are most concerned with the cost of fuel followed by labor. Sixty percent believe they will see a rise in fuel costs of 20% to 50% while several respondents expect to see fuel costs double or triple. Only modest increases are expected in insurance costs and workers compensation premiums.

As far as labor predictions go, half of the respondents believe their manpower requirements will remain the same while 34% believe their labor needs will increase. In terms of sales volume, the results were split almost evenly. Thirty-one percent believe sales volume will remain the same as 2007, 39% believe sales volume will grow and 31% believe sales volume will decrease from 2007.

Manufacturer Survey Summary

Fifty percent of manufacturer respondents believe that demand for their company's products will decrease in 2008. Two-thirds of this group believe that demand will affect the diamond tool market segment while the other third believes that the other equipment segment will be affected most. In developing their company's sales plan for 2009, 38% of respondents are expecting no growth in the sawing and drilling market while 25% believe it will remain the same. Thirty-eight percent believe the market will grow modestly.

In response to a question regarding the biggest threat to the growth of the sawing and drilling market, most believe growth has slowed because of the slow economy overall and the wait and see attitude in the governmental sector due to the upcoming national election. Others see competition from overseas manufacturers with lower priced goods as a factor.

Eight-nine percent of the manufacturer respondents believe CSDA membership to be a fair return on their investment, certainly good news for CSDA. For 33% of the respondents, CSDA members make up more than 50% of their sales and for another 33%, CSDA members make up less than 10% of their sales revenue.

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