Nobody benefits when profit is eliminated from the economic equation.
With the economy on the mend, a lot of people in the material handling industry are expecting good times without having to make any changes in the way they do business. Unfortunately, that means the continuation of one particular practice that played a major role in getting the economy in trouble a few years back.
When the “dot.coms” were flying high, they experienced rapid growth by the simple method of offering impossibly low prices and constant expansion into markets about which they knew nothing. They operated at a loss for years on end, promising investors that it would all turn around when they had achieved sufficient market share. Eventually, of course, this “lose a little on each deal but make it up in volume” business model blew up in their faces. The balloons popped, one by one, and the economy followed them down the tube.
In the material handling industry, this discredited business model is still very much in evidence. Too many companies have played the merger game, getting themselves involved in markets that they know nothing about. Too many have...