If the government won’t track data on coatings shipments, the manufacturers will do it themselves.
So says the American Coatings Association’s Board of Directors, which has just approved a proposal to produce its own quarterly and annual reports of shipments of coatings products.
The coating manufacturers’ group expects to launch the program this fall.
Filling the Data Gap
The new ACA program, submitted and accepted at the board’s May 2012 meeting, aims to fill the gap left by the U.S. Census Bureau, which has scrapped its century-old Current Industrial Reports (CIR) program.
|The American Coatings Association will report on quarterly and annual coating shipment volume and values.|
Those reports provided manufacturers with key paint and coatings industry statistics on the volume and value of shipments.
The quarterly (MQ325F) and annual (MA325F) coating reports were just part of the $4 million CIR program, which produced a gold mine of information covering about one-third of all goods in the U.S. manufacturing sector. The program distributed about 47 surveys to about 40,000 establishments.
The Commerce Department announced last year that it would eliminate the CIR program in its 2012 budget to make way for higher-priority programs. Although popular with manufacturing activity data users, the CIRs somewhat duplicated data contained in the Annual Survey of Manufactures and the 5-year Economic Census, the Commerce Department said.
With the program’s cancellation, “coatings manufacturers and their suppliers have lost an important benchmark of coatings market activity,” according to ACA.
The last quarterly report covered the second quarter of 2011; the last annual report was for 2010.
How it will Work
The new ACA program will ask manufacturing members to “submit essentially the same information” that they previously submitted to the Census, to develop reports on industry shipments, the association said.
ACA did not detail what data it would seek or whether it would attempt to collect data from outside its membership, and the association did not respond to a request for more information on the plan.
ACA did say it would use an “independent” and “trusted third party”—Industry Insights Inc., of Columbus, OH—to collect and report the data.
Industry Insights, established in 1980, provides survey research services to trade and professional associations, dealer organizations and other groups. On its web site, the company says it processes more than 100,000 survey forms annually and is “highly sensitive to the confidential and proprietary interests of survey respondents.”
ACA said it had worked with Industry Insights “on numerous occasions” and would work with the company to develop and implement the data collection program.
Paying for It
The cost of the new program was not released, but suppliers will be footing at least part of the bill.
ACA’s board has approved “the concept of charging a subscription fee to ACA supplier members” to fund the project. The board said that manufacturer members “will not be charged a fee, but will receive reports based on their participation.”
Contact ACA’s Allen Irish for more information.