ALL Family of Companies Acquires Crawler Cranes, Aerial Lift Equipment

The ALL Family of Companies began the final quarter of 2016 announcing the acquisition of an equipment package consisting of large-capacity crawler cranes and aerial lift equipment, including boom lifts and telescopic forklifts. The two separate deals with leading-brand manufacturers Manitowoc and JLG will include 30 machines.
 
The Manitowoc purchase includes two 275-USt Manitowoc 999 crawler cranes. These crawlers are a combination of capacity, reliability, and versatility. Also joining the crawler fleet is a 220-USt Manitowoc 14000. With its long reach (up to 462 feet with the luffing jib attached), this is a versatile crane. “We are using them in steel mills, power plants, water treatment plants, wind farms, and many types of new construction. They can set steel and precast concrete, among a variety of other applications,” says Michael L. Liptak, president of ALL.
 
ALL Aerials, the company’s aerial equipment division, continues to experience demand for their inventory of equipment. The company’s new JLG package includes 17 telescopic boom lifts, with horizontal outreach ranging from 33 to 80 feet, as well as 10 JLG telescopic forklifts (telehandlers). These range from the JLG 642, with a capacity of 6,600 pounds, to the JLG G15-44A, the largest of JLG’s telehandlers, with a maximum capacity of 15,000 pounds. Telehandlers and boom lifts are maneuverable machines that offer advantages on crowded job sites. Their ability to work at awkward angles can directly affect productivity.
 
“Our crawlers and aerials are in demand,” explains Liptak. “We are responding to existing demand with these additional 30 units. We think the appetite for new-model equipment is strong, so we define ourselves by our commitment to a modern, technologically-advanced fleet.”

Double-cut Shears Cleanly Cut Cold Rolled Mild Steel

Kett Tool provides contractors with maneuverability for making smooth, straight cuts in cold rolled (C.R.) mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum with the double-cutting action of the P-500 Double-Cut Shears.

Kett Tool provides contractors with maneuverability for making smooth, straight cuts in cold rolled (C.R.) mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum with the double-cutting action of the P-500 Double-Cut Shears.

Kett Tool provides manufacturers and contractors with superior maneuverability for making smooth, straight cuts in cold rolled (C.R.) mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum with the double-cutting action of the P-500 Double-Cut Shears. At only 10 1/2 inches long and weighing just 3 pounds, the pneumatic shears deliver a powerful and precise cut in a compact and portable design.

The Double-Cut Shears’ dual blades transfer any distortion produced in cutting to a small 7/32-inch waste curl, leaving both sides of the cut straight with no need to file or deburr.

Kett’s P-500 shears are powered by a 90 PSI air power source. The variable speed trigger lets you control speed from 0 to 2,200 RPMs and cleanly cuts 18 gauge and lighter C.R. mild steel, most grades of stainless to 20 gauge and aluminum to .090 feet thick. With cutting speeds of 180 inches per minute, the P-500 leaves behind a smooth, straight cut that’s burr free. At only 3 pounds, the lightweight, pistol grip design of the shears offer superior maneuverability and flexibility. All shear heads are precision made in the U.S. featuring A2 tool steel blades for prolonged durability.

Englert and Swenson Shear Partner to Provide Panel Preparation Equipment

Englert Inc., the New Jersey-based supplier of painted metal coil and metal fabricating machinery for the roofing and gutter industry, and Swenson Shear of Ceres, Calif., manufacturer of innovative tools to speed the preparation and installation of metal panels, have announced a strategic alliance to provide the Metalman Snaptable HD and Metalman Snaptable Pro collection of panel preparation equipment.

With the partnership, Englert will offer its customers two all-in-one panel preparation machines with the ability to notch, slit and hem standing-seam profiles from 12 to 24 inches, along with 33- to 60-inch slitting and hemming capabilities, while saving an average of 35 percent in labor cost.

Tony Newman, director of sales at Englert notes, “We have long sought to align with an innovative equipment manufacturer in the U.S. and feel we have now connected with a company whose products are suitable to Englert’s level of quality.”

The alliance gives Englert proven metal preparation products it can confidently offer to customers. “The Metalman Snaptables are easy to use and are more effective than manual efforts to create perfect valleys, ridges and edges,” Newman remarked. “These products will enhance the roll forming product line we already offer, and we know that our customers will be particularly happy with the two-year manufacturers’ warranty.”

With a tradition of innovation and proud craftsmanship that stretches back to 1966, Englert serves commercial and residential roofing contractors throughout the U.S. with the highest quality painted metal coil, a wide variety of roofing accessories, including seamers and curvers, and numerous, in-stock roll-forming machines, including the Multi-Panel which can roll-form 10 different panel widths and styles.

Newman continues: “We are dedicated to developing relationships and creating programs that support the growth of our customers’ businesses. We listen to our customers and anticipate their changing needs. These co-branded Metalman Snaptables are just one more example of that guiding principle.”

Ergonomically Designed Tether Secures Tools and Prevents Injuries

The objective of personal tool tethering is to secure tools to prevent injury and damage to people and equipment below. At the same time, however, it is equally important the tether be ergonomically designed to maximize worker safety, productivity and convenience.

The new ergonomic Gear Keeper, model no. TL1-3014 tether for tools up to 15 pounds, employs a very low stretch force so as not to cause fatigue at full extension while providing the proper degree of comfortable recoil.

The new ergonomic Gear Keeper employs a very low stretch force so as not to cause fatigue at full extension while providing the proper degree of comfortable recoil.

The new ergonomic Gear Keeper, model no. TL1-3014 tether for tools up to 15 pounds, employs a very low stretch force so as not to cause fatigue at full extension while providing the proper degree of comfortable recoil. Delivering more than three times the stretch of competitive bungee-type tubular tethers, the Gear Keeper TL1-3014 elastic provides a gentle, low-resistance 61 percent stretch that minimizes a worker’s fatigue while maximizing his or her reach. This is achieved by having the elastic material sewn directly into the webbing during the manufacturing process.

The Gear Keeper tool tether also has a short retracted length (33 inches) and long extension (53 inches). This is a significant safety issue that helps avoid entanglement issues when climbing or working in close quarters. Additionally, to protect against “drop shock”, Gear Keeper tool tethers are load-tested with a built-in safety margin beyond the breaking point.

The TL1-3014 specifications include a fixed loop tool attachment lanyard constructed with a Spectra core inside of a tightly woven nylon cord. Tight weave means less chance of wear and snagging during use and easier threading through the tool’s lanyard loop. The tool attachment cord is typically the failure point of other lanyards. The TL1-3014 comes standard with an aluminum carabiner or with an optional stainless-steel carabiner (model no. TL1-3024).

The Gear Keeper tool tether also has a short retracted length (33 inches) and long extension (53 inches).

The Gear Keeper tool tether has a short retracted length (33 inches) and long extension (53 inches).

Learn More

Visit GearKeeper.com.
Call (888) 588-9981.

This “Roofers’ Choice” was determined by the product that received the most reader inquiries from the March/April issue’s “Materials & Gadgets” section.

PHOTOS: Gear Keeper

Buying New vs. Used Equipment: What’s Best for You?

Successful businesses are run by people who are prudent with how money is spent or reinvested into the business. The bigger the expenditure, the more research may be required to make the best decision.

The purchase of rollforming equipment is certainly a major investment in your business. Rollformers are often your operation’s most integral piece of equipment, so you want to make sure you’re purchasing a rollformer that will meet all your demands or can be updated to meet those requirements.

Rollformers are often your operation’s most integral piece of equipment, so you want to make sure you’re purchasing a rollformer that will meet all your demands or can be updated to meet those requirements.

Rollformers are often your operation’s most integral piece of equipment, so you want to make sure you’re purchasing a rollformer that will meet all your demands or can be updated to meet those requirements.


Is a new piece of equipment the best investment, or is there an opportunity to purchase a quality used rollformer at a significant savings? Being an OEM, obviously, I’m in favor of a customer buying new equipment—it eliminates a lot of worries and potential headaches. Purchasing a rollformer is more complex than purchasing a standalone production unit. Rollforming machines are one component in a system that has many moving parts; they require a great deal of synchronization to produce accurate components at relatively high speeds. The use of an OEM rollforming system manufacturer is highly recommended, if for no other reason than your own protection.

Having said that, there are obvious situations where the purchase of a good piece of used equipment makes sense. Purchasing used equipment is a viable market because the brand name machines are built to last. There exists a certain psychology out there, it’s the first inclination to look for a deal, for something used.

One good place to purchase used equipment is from someone who needs to downsize their business or perhaps to raise cash. A machine from a company in a different geographic market could make a great buy, price-wise, and you could purchase a machine that is ready to go, ready to start producing. One advantage with purchasing equipment in this fashion is the buyer can usually see the machine in action before writing a check. Plus, your production start is only dependent on how long it takes to transport and set up the equipment. Waiting for custom-made equipment from an OEM may take up to six months. You’re making money only when your machine is up and running.

A word of caution with purchasing used equipment from an individual … make sure there are no liens or encumbrances.

Another viable option for purchasing used equipment is at an auction. A general rule is that you should not pay more than 60 percent of the price of a new machine. That also applies when purchasing equipment from a dealer, which can be even trickier. Buyer beware is the general rule when buying from a dealer because you’re buying “as is” and “where is.” You don’t get to see the machine in operation, so you can’t know what problems you may have to deal with.

Purchasing used equipment from an individual or a dealer also means you have no OEM warranty and OEM technical support and training. We’ve had customers who required a second round of training … you don’t know what you don’t know until you turn on the machine.

With the purchase of used equipment, you’re also missing out on the newest technology, a part of the life cycle of the machine, as well as any depreciation allowance. Technology is changing all the time. The newest technology enables your machine to run a higher speeds, produce the most accurate products and allow for the greatest amount of flexibility with the geometry of products with the same tooling.

An often overlooked consideration when purchasing used equipment is the quality of your in-house maintenance staff. Maintaining these machines is vital to keeping them running. I’ve seen customers who have the staff to make it work and I’ve seen companies whose idea of maintenance is running the machine until it breaks. That’s zero-maintenance and it ends up being expensive.

The purchase price of used equipment is usually only part of the investment. Most likely, you still will require an OEM to rebuild the equipment, add tooling and, in most cases, new electronics. These can be challenging items to budget, requiring more of your time in the form of research. OEMs are certainly capable of rebuilding basic machines and augmenting the entire system with new pieces of updated equipment, electronics and technologies.

We refurbish equipment, both ours and rollformers manufactured by others. Most of it ranges from 10 to 30 years old. People come to us with machines they want us to get running at 80 feet per minute. That’s an unknown with used equipment. It doesn’t matter how big the motor is, if the gears will only allow a machine to run 40 feet per minute, that’s all you’re going to get out of it.

Experts can even be fooled by the condition of used equipment until they see it running. Without seeing rollformers in operation, you don’t know the condition of the bearings and if all tooling is straight.

Experts can even be fooled by the condition of used equipment until they see it running. Without seeing rollformers in operation, you don’t know the condition of the bearings and if all tooling is straight.


Experts can even be fooled by the condition of used equipment until they see it running. Without seeing rollformers in operation, you don’t know the condition of the bearings and if all tooling is straight.

Finally, beware of any equipment that was stored outside. If someone comes to us with equipment that’s been stored outside and wants to know what’s worth, we tell them whatever they can get for scrap. If it sat outside for any amount of time, that’s what it’s worth. Damaging rust is not always visible to the naked eye, so it will require an in-depth inspection of the gear boxes. It’s probably not worth the potential problems.

At the end of the day, it’s a cost-benefit situation. If your volume of production justifies new, buy new. The life cycle of a new machine is highly predictable when you’re in control of the maintenance.

If anticipated volume will be low, a used line may make more sense. However, please take into consideration if the brand is still in business. If not, spare parts can become a huge issue … not to mention the obvious lack of support.

PHOTOS: Samco Machinery

Access Rollforming Information, Pictures, Videos and More through App

Samco Machinery has developed a free application that will allow access to company rollforming information, pictures, videos and technical information.

Samco Machinery has developed a free application that will allow access to company rollforming information, pictures, videos and technical information.

Samco Machinery has developed a free application that will allow access to company information, pictures, videos and technical information. Once the Samco App is downloaded, it can be accessed at any time, without the need for online access. The app, currently available in the iTunes store, contains five sections—About Samco Machinery, Markets, RFQ, Support, News—to provide any data a potential customer may need.

ELFA’s Website Offers Wider Range of Resources for Financing Equipment

Visitors to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association‘s end-user website, Equipment Finance Advantage, will find new enhancements that make it a more powerful resource for helping businesses take advantage of the benefits of financing equipment. The site, found at www.EquipmentFinanceAdvantage.org, has improved navigation for a better user experience and offers a wider range of resources focused on how companies of all types and sizes can use leasing and financing to their strategic advantage to acquire the equipment they need to operate and grow. ELFA launched the original Equipment Finance Advantage website two years ago.

Highlights of the site’s user-friendly content include:

  • Equipment Finance 101: Overview of the benefits of equipment finance, the types of financing, the top 10 questions to ask before entering an equipment financing agreement, a customizable digital toolkit and more.
  • Success Stories: Real-world examples of companies using equipment finance for strategic advantage.
  • Resources: How-to articles, Q&As, updated end-user industry fact sheets, infographics and more to help businesses develop their financing strategy.
  • Videos: A series of short videos on a range of topics, from maximizing cash flow to staying ahead of the curve to end-of-lease factors to consider.
  • Find a Provider: A searchable list of ELFA members that provide equipment leasing and finance services.

“The critical role the $903 billion equipment finance industry plays in the U.S. economy, manufacturing and jobs is fundamentally because of the participation of individual businesses,” says ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE. “They have found the information at Equipment Finance Advantage to be an invaluable resource informing their equipment leasing and financing decision-making during the past two years, and we are excited to offer the newly upgraded EFA website to help keep them up-to-date with the latest research and informational content available.”

ELFA Reveals Top 10 Equipment Acquisition Trends

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) which represents the $903 billion equipment finance sector, has revealed its Top 10 Equipment Acquisition Trends for 2015. Given U.S. businesses, nonprofits and government agencies will spend nearly $1.5 trillion in capital goods or fixed business investment (including software) this year, financing a majority of those assets, these trends impact a significant portion of the U.S. economy. Businesses will find opportunities presented by a steadily improving economy and favorable credit conditions as they make their decisions for equipment replacement and expansion.

ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE, says, “Equipment financing is a critical source of funding for a majority of U.S. businesses, allowing them to acquire the equipment they need to operate and grow. It enables equipment acquisition, which plays a critical role in driving the supply chains across all U.S. manufacturing and service sectors. To assist businesses in planning their acquisition strategies, we have distilled recent research data, including the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s 2015 Equipment Leasing & Finance U.S. Economic Outlook Report, industry participants’ expertise and member input from ELFA meetings and conferences to provide our best insight for the Top 10 Equipment Acquisition Trends for 2015.”

ELFA forecasts the following Top 10 Equipment Acquisition Trends for 2015:

  • 1. Investment in equipment and software will reach an all-time high in 2015. As the U.S. economy continues to improve, business investment is forecast to reach a record $1.484 trillion in 2015. As business investment grows, demand for equipment financing will increase.
  • 2. Businesses will invest in equipment not just to replace aging assets, but also to aid in expansion. The pent-up replacement demand that has driven equipment investment in previous years may be supplemented by long-awaited expansion investment as capacity utilization rates in some industries reach or surpass levels historically known to spur business investment. Industries poised for investment growth include oil and gas extraction and transportation equipment manufacturing.
  • 3. While some equipment types will see strong growth, others will moderate. In 2014, equipment and software investment increased 9.6 percent in Q2 and 9.3 percent in Q3. Looking ahead, growth in equipment and software investment is expected to moderate somewhat, as it is unlikely to keep up the strong pace seen in Q2 and Q3. A still healthy growth rate of 6 percent is forecast for 2015. Aircraft, trucks and other industrial equipment are projected to be among the higher growth types, while agriculture, computers and software are expected to see slower growth.
  • 4. Improving market conditions will continue to increase credit supply and demand for equipment acquisitions. As the economy steadily improves and business confidence continues to increase, credit standards should modestly loosen. The propensity to finance decreased in the wake of the financial crisis as businesses deleveraged and refrained from new business investment. Since bottoming out in 2010, the rate at which businesses finance their capital spending has grown consistently and will continue to increase in 2015 with steady economic recovery and shifts in Federal Reserve policy.
  • 5. Eyes will be on short-term interest rate increases. Expectations for the Federal Reserve to raise short-term interest rates in 2015 should spur equipment investment as businesses seek to lock in equipment financing at lower rates. Despite rate increases, businesses will find that a highly competitive “buyer’s market” will continue to make financing an attractive option for acquiring equipment.
  • 6. Businesses will use financing for a majority of their plant, equipment and software expenditures. In 2015, 62 percent or $922 billion of investment in plant, equipment and software in the United States is expected to be financed through loans, leases and lines of credit. A majority of businesses—seven out of 10—will use at least one form of financing to acquire equipment.
  • 7. Advances in the use of technology will drive innovative financing options. Equipment finance providers are streamlining their business processes and improving customer self-service capabilities using digital technologies. At the same time, some end-users are moving away from traditional equipment consumption models and toward hosted or managed services based on usage rather than total ownership. To meet customer demand and address evolving technology equipment requirements, equipment finance companies will tailor innovative financial offerings.
  • 8. Several “wild cards” could impact equipment acquisition decisions. In what could be a breakout year for the U.S. economy, positive and negative external risks could affect equipment investment. Potential political gridlock, global economic weakness and geopolitical risks could be a drag on investment decisions, but GDP growth from low oil prices, a potential surge in the housing sector and sufficient capacity utilization could have firms ramping up capital expenditures.
  • 9. Nontraditional financing will continue to grow and play a larger role in the equipment finance industry. As regulatory scrutiny increases and some banks’ lending standards tighten for certain credits, nontraditional financing sources, such as investment bankers, venture capitalists, insurance companies, crowd funders and others, are exploring opportunities in the equipment finance sector.
  • 10. A final lease accounting standard will be released. The Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board continue to work on the lease accounting project, which will change how leases are accounted for on corporate balance sheets. A final standard is anticipated in 2015, with a possible effective date of 2018 or later. The good news is that the benefits of leasing equipment will remain intact despite the lease accounting proposal.

To Lease or Buy Equipment

As the economy continues to improve, more construction businesses are making capital investments to fuel their growth. When business owners and managers consider acquiring equipment, they often think of their payment option as a “lease versus buy” decision. In any economic environment, when preserving owner or shareholder capital is an important goal, financing equipment through a lease or loan will enable your business to preserve its cash.

Whether you finance equipment through a lease or loan, each has its advantages. In evaluating your options, it is important to look at each alternative to determine which will best balance usage, cash flow and your financial objectives. To help determine the most appropriate option, consider the following questions:

1. How long will the equipment be required?

Generally speaking, if the length of time the equipment is expected to be used is short term (36 months or less), leasing is likely the preferable option. Equipment expected to be used for longer than three years could be a candidate for a lease or a loan.

2. What is the monthly budget for the equipment?

As with any ongoing business expense, consider the monthly cost for a piece of equipment and how it fits into your budget. In general, leasing will provide lower monthly payments.

3. Will the equipment become obsolete while it is still needed for the operation?

Protection against obsolescence is one of the many benefits of equipment leasing because the risk of obsolescence is assumed by the lessor. Certain lease financing programs allow for technology upgrades and/or replacement within the term of the lease contract.

4. Is the equipment going to be used for a specific contract or can it be used for other projects?

Often, the business objective of equipment is for it to be revenue-producing. If a piece of equipment has limited use within a specific contract and won’t be used for other projects, it’s not ideal for it to be idle while you continue to make payments on it. It makes sense to stop the equipment expense when the income from it ceases, which you can do with a lease.

5. How much cash would be required upfront for a lease and for a loan?

Leasing can often provide 100 percent financing of the cost of the equipment, as well as the costs for transportation, delivery, installation set-up, testing and training, and other deferred costs (sales tax). Loans usually require a down payment and don’t include the other cost benefits. Ask how much of a down payment is needed and assess the availability and desirability of allocating company capital for that down payment.

6. Can the company use the depreciation or would the company get a greater benefit from expensing the lease payments?

The tax treatment of the financing arrangement is an important consideration in choosing between a lease and a loan. A loan provides you with the depreciation tax benefit; with a lease, the lessor owns the equipment and realizes the tax benefit, which is usually reflected in a lower monthly rent payment for your business, as well as the ability to expense the payment.

In many instances, if your business cannot use the tax benefit, it makes more sense to lease than to purchase through a loan because you can trade the depreciation to the lessor in exchange for better cash flow.

7. How will a working capital facility be impacted?

Many businesses have an aggregate line of credit through a bank that they can use for inventory purchases, improvements and other capital expenditures.

Depending on the lending covenants, it is often possible, as well as preferable, to preserve your bank working capital by leasing equipment through an equipment finance provider.

8. How flexible does your business want the financing terms to be?

A lease can provide greater flexibility because it can be structured for a variety of contingencies, whereas, with a loan, flexibility is subject to the lender’s rules.

If your business has continuing use for the equipment at lease termination, extended rentals, purchase options, trade-ups and return options are available. The lease term allows your business to match all expenses to the term of the equipment’s use, including income-tax expense, book expense and cash expense. Most importantly, as mentioned previously, the expense stops when the equipment is no longer required.

With the current low-interest-rate environment, now is a good time to finance equipment, in general, through a lease or loan. Again, the benefits of the type of financing is dependent on a number of variables and not necessarily the economics alone.

9. Do you anticipate the need for additional equipment under your financing agreement?

If your business is planning for growth, you can enter into a master lease that will allow you to acquire multiple pieces of equipment under multiple schedules with the same basic terms and conditions. This provides greater convenience and flexibility than a conditional loan contract, which must be renegotiated for additional equipment acquisitions.

10. Who can help me evaluate what’s best for my business?

Whether you finance equipment through a lease or loan, each has its advantages. When making the decision between a lease and a loan, it is highly recommended you consult with your accounting professional, as well as draw on the resources of your equipment financing provider, to enable you to secure the best possible terms for your lease and/or loan.

These are some of the key considerations that should go into the lease versus loan decision-making process. Find a lease/loan comparison and online tools.

Confidence in Equipment Finance Sector Is Steady

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) released the December 2014 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI). Designed to collect leadership data, the index reports a qualitative assessment of both the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by key executives from the $903 billion equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 63.4, steady with the November index of 64.2.

When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI-EFI survey respondent David Schaefer, CEO, Mintaka Financial LLC, said, “We are very pleased with our year-over-year growth in application volume, originations, approval rates and access to capital. We think next year will be positive again but expect to see slight increases in delinquency and credit losses. We have seen extraordinary portfolio performance the past three years, but we’re planning for a more normal period in 2015.”

December 2014 Survey Results:
The overall MCI-EFI is 63.4, steady with the November index of 64.2.

    · When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 28% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, up slightly from 27.3% in November. 72% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, up from 69.7% in November. None believe business conditions will worsen, down from 3% the previous month.

    · 22% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, down from 30.3% in November. 72% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, up from 66.7% the previous month. 6.3% believe demand will decline, up from 3% in November.

    · 22% of executives expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, up slightly from 21.2% in November. 78% of survey respondents indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, down slightly from 78.8% in November. None expect “less” access to capital, unchanged from the previous month.

    · When asked, 43.8% of the executives reported they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, a decrease from 45.4% in November. 50% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, up from 48.5% last month. 6.3% expect fewer employees, essentially unchanged from November.

    · 3% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” unchanged from last month. 97% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “fair,” and none rate it as “poor,” both also unchanged from November.

    · 47% of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, an increase from 42.4% who believed so in November. 53% of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, down from 54.6% in November. None believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, down from 3% last month.

    · In December, 37.5% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, a decrease from 42.4% in November. 62.5% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, an increase from 54.6% last month. None believe there will be a decrease in spending, down from 3% last month.

December 2014 MCI-EFI Survey Comments from Industry Executive Leadership:

Bank, Small Ticket
“Lower energy costs will benefit consumers and small businesses. These are the segments of the economy that has been lagging compared to historical recoveries. I believe stronger spending will lift corporate revenues and, in reaction, business investment. Finally ?!” Paul Menzel, President & CEO, Financial Pacific Leasing, LLC

Bank, Middle Ticket
“Energy costs are the new looming uncertainty. In some sectors/industries this is a positive while in others it is a negative. How that balances out from a national as well as global standpoint remains to be seen, but it will give some pause to growth plans.” Harry Kaplun, President, Frost Equipment Leasing and Finance

Independent, Middle Ticket
“With gas prices declining truck and car sales continue to increase and the economy seems to continue to be slowly improving.” William Besgen, President and Chief Operating Officer, Hitachi Capital America Corp.

Why an MCI-EFI?
Confidence in the U.S. economy and the capital markets is a critical driver to the equipment finance industry. Throughout history, when confidence increases, consumers and businesses are more apt to acquire more consumer goods, equipment and durables, and invest at prevailing prices. When confidence decreases, spending and risk-taking tend to fall. Investors are said to be confident when the news about the future is good and stock prices are rising.

Who participates in the MCI-EFI?
The respondents are comprised of a wide cross section of industry executives, including large-ticket, middle-market and small-ticket banks, independents and captive equipment finance companies. The MCI-EFI uses the same pool of 50 organization leaders to respond monthly to ensure the survey’s integrity. Since the same organizations provide the data from month to month, the results constitute a consistent barometer of the industry’s confidence.

How is the MCI-EFI designed?
The survey consists of seven questions and an area for comments, asking the respondents’ opinions about the following:

    1. Current business conditions
    2. Expected product demand over the next four months
    3. Access to capital over the next four months
    4. Future employment conditions
    5. Evaluation of the current U.S. economy
    6. U.S. economic conditions over the next six months
    7. Business development spending expectations
    8. Open-ended question for comment

How may I access the MCI-EFI?
Survey results are posted on the Foundation website included in the Foundation Forecast newsletter and included in press releases. Survey respondent demographics and additional information about the MCI are also available at the link above.