A year ago Troy Berg wasn't in a good place.
"I knew in January that 2009 was gone. Never in the history of my business have I had to kiss off a year in January & Now that we're through 2009, the hard cuts have been made, we've made a little bit of money, and those of us who are still standing are looking at 2010 to be a better year."
A few days ago Berg told this to a reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. Berg is president of Dane Manufacturing, a precision sheet metal shop in Dane, Wis., north of Madison. His comment pretty much sums up where metal fabricators stand today: battered and bruised, cautiously optimistic (an overused phrase these days), and ready to take on a better year. Some are expecting strong growth this year, some foresee it taking several years before sales volume gets back to 2007 and 2008 levels, but most agree we've started the recovery.