Ring out the Old, Ring in the New

The year 2006 was undeniably exciting for Finishing Today. We completely re-invented our look, fine-tuned our coverage, debuted our e-newsletter and even changed our name. Judging by the response from you, our readers, these changes have been embraced. Our tagline for the last few months has been: “The Evolution of Industrial Paint & Powder.” While we will continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of the industry, we now proclaim: “Trends and Technologies for Coatings Professionals.” Indeed, we not only provide you with the latest innovations in finishing technology, but we also keep you up-to-date with breaking news about the industry, both in print and electronically. Our newest initiative, beginning with this issue, is a digital version that allows you to read the entire magazine in an interactive, user-friendly format online. Now you can get the latest industry information exactly the way you want it - in print, in our weekly Finishing eFlash e-newsletter, online at www.finishingtodaymag.comor in our new digital edition.*

2006 was also a good year for the finishing industry overall. The industry continued its modest rebound and has predictably evolved. Sales figures are generally up for most finishers, even as we have endured increased material costs, higher energy and transportation outlays, and fierce overseas competition. We have experienced a further consolidation of coatings manufacturers and have had to grapple with more stringent environmental laws. Industry in general has been impacted by an unrelenting exodus of manufacturing to the Far East and Mexico. Capturing profits has never before been such a challenge.

In spite of these obstacles, the majority of finishing managers expect increases in their operating levels for 2007. You can review a number of fascinating details about industry trends in our 20th annual Finishing Forecast, on pp. 18-23 in this issue. One of the evolutions mentioned most is the manner in which economics have overtaken other decision-making drivers such as quality and environmental friendliness. The latter are now considered expected requirements rather than the trade-offs of the past.

As you embark upon the New Year, carefully bury the past and fearlessly forge into the future. Lose the bitterness that can come with battles lost and prepare to face the challenges before you. Sharpen your knowledge and business skills by taking a course in your field. Strengthen the tenacity of your staff by providing them the tools to excel. Think beyond this quarter’s profits and let long-term goals and sustainability be your guide. And rely on Finishing Today to bring you the information you need to succeed in today’s competitive markets.

The staff at Finishing Today wishes everyone a very happy, prosperous and peaceful year in 2007.

*To subscribe to Finishing eFlash or the digital edition of Finishing Today, visitwww.finishingtodaymag.com.