Be an Business Chief, Not a Lagger

Four-time Stanley Cup winner Wayne Gretsky is well-known for saying, “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” The quote is frequently used because it’s true. Most of us are good at looking back on business decisions and outcomes; we examine lagging indicators and point out what we should’ve seen coming. However, the start of the new year provides an opportunity to plan ahead – to consider leading indicators that help us move in directions that help us grow.

This issue of Composites Manufacturing magazine features the annual State of the Industry report (page 15), where consultants provide insight on composite materials and end user markets. The article includes data and information industry professionals need to be proactive and plan thoughtfully for the future.

The State of the Industry article is just one of several market intelligence resources offered by ACMA. Another valuable tool is the quarterly Pulse of the Industry, which includes survey results from peers regarding demand, market segment performance and trends. ACMA’s Statistics Program provides timely data on composites production, and association members also receive the monthly Lucintel Report with updates on the global composites market.

At Bestbath, we use these resources along with industry-specific data related to our customers to aid our decision-making. As a manufacturer of FRP bathing products, we follow the construction and architecture industries, including reports from the Dodge Construction Network. I encourage you to seek out market reports from whatever industry you focus on, too.

Another way to stay abreast of trends is by attending conferences. ACMA hosts the Thermoplastic Composites Conference March 26 – 28 in San Diego. I recommend you consider attending even if your company specializes in thermoset composites. Our industry was founded on innovation, and composites are the material of the future. The only way to maintain that position is to continue to grow, explore and learn as individuals and companies. The best way to do that is to attend events like the Thermoplastic Composites Conference. The article on page 22 provides a glimpse into topics that will be covered at the conference. For more information or to register, visit

I look forward to seeing you at ACMA events in 2024, where I hope you’ll share insight on how your company skates to where the puck is going to be. Sharing ideas and collaborating with ACMA peers will allow our industry to be material leaders, not laggers.

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