Marketing Research of Springfield Armory, Inc. -
April 8th, 2011
Springfield Armory, Inc. is a firearms manufacturer and importer based in Geneseo, Illinois founded in 1974. It is one of the largest firearms marketers of imported firearms in the United States and is a four-time recipient of the National Rifle Association Gun of the Year Award.Cement is a fundamental building material for the construction sector. It is used in virtually all types of construction activity, but its major market is nonresidential construction. The ready-mix concrete industry is the major customer for cement, accounting for about 72 percent of shipments. Concrete product producers (pipe, block, brick, pre-cast, pre-stressed, and dry mix) purchase another 11 percent. Direct sales to construction contractors account for about 7 percent of demand, and sales to building materials dealers, hardware stores, lumberyards, and home centers account for another 3 percent. The rest is purchased directly by the government, oil well drillers, and miscellaneous users.
The internationalization of the U.S. and world cement industries continues. In the 1980s, large international firms began to purchase plants around the world. As a result, production capacity in the United States is now more than two-thirds foreign-owned. This trend continued to characterize the industry in 1998. With recent acquisitions in the industry, foreign-owned production capacity could be as high as 71 percent. The owners of U.S. production facilities also purchase the bulk of U.S. imports.
1 Market Structure
2 Market Metrics
3 Industry Definitions
4 Industry Players
5 Trends and Recent Developments
7 Related ResearchWikis
The cement industry relies on key raw materials including limestone, clay and marl. Stone is mined, crushed and mixed in quarries then transported to cement plants where it is mixed with silica sand and iron ore. This is then reduced to a fine powder and dried using hot exhaust gases. The product is then heated in kilns and then the mill grinds it into a cement powder mix. It is then packed in bags and distributed in bulk form to intermediate establishments who distribute it to wholesalers, retailers or directly to firms in the construction trade.
The cement industry is heavily dependent on the construction industry. When the economic cycle is positive and building starts are increasing, the boost in construction directly impacts the demand for increased cement production. Since cement is used in all phases of construction including renovations and repair, it is somewhat less dependent than on new building starts alone. Still, use of cement is both cyclical and somewhat seasonal. Consumption of cement in the U.S. drops off in October as the colder weather limits construction activity in northern climates.
The cement industry is regionally specific, not global. Costs of transportation are very high and firms therefore have plants distributed all over the country. Usually, cement industry manufacturers increase production in the winter and then ship this to distribution as inventory to be used in summer construction.
About 90% of the cement in the United States is shipped by trucks and of the net cement produced, 75% is for ready-to-mix concrete operators. Cement plants shipped 13% of the cement they manufactured to concrete product manufacturers, 6% to contractors and 3% to building material dealers.
In 1998, cement consumption followed the trend illustrated by that year’s record high level of new construction. Total construction activity increased nearly 5 percent in that year and was expected to grow 4 percent in 1999. Demand for cement closely follows the market for nonresidential construction and public works projects, which in 1998 accounted for 56 percent of total new construction. The consumption of cement surpassed the construction growth rate in 1998, perhaps indicating new material use or a modest price hike in response to heavy demand. Domestic demand began to increase steadily in 1994 after spending allocated by the first federal highway bill (ISTEA) in 1992 led to a greater concentration of construction in the transportation and public works sector. As a result, the ratio of cement shipments to construction activity has risen steadily. The passage of TEA-21 in 1998 to fund federal highway construction promises to support demand for cement and aggregates through 2004. Even if overall construction activity flattens during the next several years, annual cement shipments are likely to continue to remain strong (2 to 4 percent) because of the funding slated for federal highways.
The United States has long been a net importer of cement. The gap between U.S. cement imports and exports widened further in 1998 as imports increased 28 percent and exports declined 3 percent. As domestic cement production has been stretched to full or nearly full capacity, imports have become an important part of the U.S. supply. The bulk of U.S. cement imports come from Canada, China, Spain, Greece, Venezuela, Colombia, and Mexico. In 1998, China became the United States’ second largest cement source, supplying 14 percent of all imports. Thailand is another producer country supplying cement to the United States.