Thermal Spray Credit

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As I sit in front of the television set for hours at a stretch, every day for the past month or so, watching the business news full of loom and doom in the financial markets, my stomach begins to turn as I watch the drama unfold developed by greedy investment bankers that discounted common sense lending practices and in some cases threw basic business ethics out the window. The credit crunch that is gripping the whole world currently cannot be taken lightly by anyone, especially people owning and running businesses. The thermal spray industry is not immune to what is happening in the worldwide financial markets; especially the small thermal spray coatings businessman who may not have had too much of cushion to begin with. As everyone knows, unlike an online business, the thermal spray coatings industry is a heavily capital intensive with lots of capital tied up in equipment, spare parts and raw materials that are not inexpensive by any stretch of the imagination. Just check the last payable check to your thermal spray powder vendor and you may want to immediately get yourself a glass of water to calm down! It is no surprise that thermal spray companies that have been relying on short term loans to meet payroll requirements are going to see the effects of the credit crunch faster than those that have not employed such practices and this does put a tremendous strain on the former. As such, as I continue to watch the financial markets beginning to affect more and more businesses, I decided to step back and wonder what, if anything, that the thermal spray industry can do for itself. That is the basis of this post.

Sure, we have thermal spray industry associations in several countries and even global organizations that claim to be of value to its members. But besides holding seminars and conferences, which provide a forum for the exchange of technical ideas and thermal spray industry news and assist in the increase of sales by way of shows and exhibitions, I believe a tremendous value can be provided to its members by establishing a member supported thermal spray credit line. This would be similar to the International Monetary Fund and such similar organizations. The members of the association would all contribute money that would be held by the association trust and be made available at a reasonable rate of interest to those companies that need it. After all, the best help that an association can offer its members is to provide badly needed finances when the member entity is in dire need rather than let that company fail and go bankrupt. Similar to life insurance, this would form a sort of financial insurance for member companies, for which they all pay a premium. The industry as a whole succeeds and survives when each one takes care of the other rather than not. If my neighbor’s house is burning, I will jump to help him at this dire need, rather than let him lose everything even though I may not have been too fond of him at normal times. Now, I understand that member companies may also be competitors and one may not be too eager to help a competitor. But just like drawing money from the IMF is the last resort that a country takes because of the social stigma associated with such an act, I believe, member thermal spray companies will use such a reserve only in extreme conditions.

This step, I believe, will significantly add to the advantages of companies signing up to become members of such thermal spray societies, making membership drives very easy. After all, in this day and age of the internet, quite a lot of things can be learnt without really paying dues to a club, unless otherwise the club or the association brings with it significant financial and business benefits.

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