As funding is more difficult to obtain and lending is tighter, companies are looking into collaborating with suppliers to lower financial risk, speed up the pace of innovation and open new markets, according to a survey conducted by Sweden-based Trelleborg AB.
The survey by Trelleborg’s engineered fabrics operation found that 50 percent of manufacturers say they have been negatively affected by the economic downturn in their industry. However, a third of respondents expressed a belief their organization could be helped to break into new markets by working with a strategic partner. Additionally, 59 percent of technical managers and 33 percent of directors agreed that by sharing costs and risks with manufacturing support partners, they would be able to develop new products more easily.
General manager at Trelleborg’s engineered fabrics operation Johan Frithiof says, “As our customers face increasing challenges in the industrial environment, we are finding that they are actively seeking innovations that will help them to lower total overall costs and improve performance.”
The company surveyed a global audience sample from markets that include oil and gas, aerospace, industrial, polymer and textile industries. The full report, “Inhibitors to Innovation,” can be downloaded.
The company’s engineered fabrics division produces specialty polymer-coated and calendered materials across a range of industries, including aerospace, automotive, recreation and fluid handling.