Image courtesy of Integer Research.
Bringing together key thought leaders from the wire and cable industry, Integer Research hosted Advanced Cable North America (ACNA) in late February. The three-day conference, held in Atlanta for the first time, highlighted economic and political megatrends affecting the development of the regional cable market and provided a look into key advanced cable applications in energy, automotive and communication.
Southwire’s President and CEO Rich Stinson kicked off the event with a vibrant keynote address about the future of the wire and cable industry in North America. His remarks provided insight into the megatrends that will shape how companies in the industry approach business and strategies over the next decade.
“At Southwire, our goal is to be generationally-sustainable. We want to continue to grow for the next 100 years and beyond,” said Stinson. “To do so, we must keep an eye on the trends that are changing our world, like LED Technology, Power over the Ethernet and DC Power Distribution. It’s important, as leaders in wire and cable, to think about the impact these technologies can have on our customers and the products and solutions we offer.”
Stinson also highlighted another megatrend facing the industry, the skilled trade gap.
“A lack of skilled workforce, labor constraints and an aging population create a combination that could result in nearly two million jobs that may go unfilled. That’s a real issue,” said Stinson. “Our team at Southwire is developing ideas to bridge the gap. Programs like 12 for Life and our maintenance apprenticeship program are seeing major success, and our partnerships with industry apprenticeship organizations allow us to help our future workforce develop the skills that are needed and will be needed as we move ahead.”
Stinson’s final message to attendees was to find a balance on the company’s and/or leadership’s approach to these forces impacting the future. Ending with a humorous illustration, he encouraged the audience to not hide or shy away from these trends, but to find a way to embrace the change and adapt to remain relevant and sustainable.
Also featured during the event was a panel discussion on the topic of industry challenges and opportunities in the changing economy. Along with leaders from Nexans, Superior Essex, Champlain Cable and Dow Chemical, Southwire’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Innovation and Business Development, Tom Doring shared his thoughts on the impact of a changing economy on wire and cable.
Highlights from this session included a state of the business for each company represented, discussion on current and future economic factors affecting the industry and a look into the future of product applications for high voltage and communication cables.
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