By Mark A. DeSorbo
BOSTON, Mass—The business of manufacturing, selling and distributing cleanroom products has changed over the past five years and will continue to be transformed as news of consolidation, globalization and increased purchasing over the Internet continue to make business-news headlines.
These changes are generating questions from everyone on the contamination control continuum: Is there still a place for the regional distributor of cleanroom products? Are more mergers and acquisitions in the works? Will the lure of Asia cause more manufacturing operations to move offshore?
These are just some of the questions that will be discussed in “The Changing Business Landscape in Cleanroom Supply,” an open forum taking place at CleanRooms East 2003, which will be held here from March 17-19 at the World Trade Center.
Michael Levans, chief editor of CleanRooms magazine, will moderate the open forum. “This forum is a CleanRooms first,” says Levans. “Spun off the magazine's increasing business news coverage, it's a way for end users and exhibitors to interact in an effort to learn how the supply chain is changing and how both sides can work together and optimize those changes.”
Dennis Baldwin, founder of the recently launched cleanroom matting company Purus International Inc. (Indio, Calif.), will join Levans as lead panelist. “This forum comes at its attendees from a business angle, with an emphasis on the transitionary nature of the cleanroom supply industry,” says Baldwin.
“The transition that the cleanroom industry is currently experiencing is compared to industries such as hospital supply, safety and lab supply,” says Baldwin. “However, with its significantly smaller size, the cleanroom industry may be heading down a transition path that's entirely its own.”
According to Levans, the goal of this panel is for attendees to come away with a better understanding of where cleanroom supply is heading and how it will ultimately affect the end user. Consolidation, globalization, the decline of regionalism and the Internet's impact on the global cleanroom user base will be openly discussed.
“This is a critical period for the cleanroom supply business,” says Levans. “Will it continue to move in its current direction, or will it trend back into the direction of strong regionalism? We may not come out of this forum with all the answers, but we will certainly open a dialogue that will help the market take reasonable steps forward.”
For more information on attending CleanRooms East 2003 (March 17-19) in Boston, contact 603-891-9267 or e-mail [email protected]. lll