ACG Chicago Middle Market Manufacturing Conference 2020

February 25, 2020

It crowd, with awesome networking and excellent speakers on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at the Association for Corporate Growth’s Middle Market Manufacturing Conference in Chicago. The agenda balanced a keynote talk with panel discussions and breakout sessions to create a fast-paced, interactive day.

Pictured above is James MacLennan delivering a keynote on leading and accelerating digital business initiatives.

I especially enjoyed a provocative panel discussion on 3D printing, and was surprised at how fast the field has advanced. Steel molds can be created rapidly (and with more complex geometric shapes) to dramatically accelerate injection molding for new product launches. As a CPG Executive, I recalled how my launch timelines were often dictated by time to cut steel. A turnaround of weeks vs over half a year or more can accelerate a product launch by a full retail cycle! Costs are higher but are rapidly dropping, and in cases where the ability to hit a selling window is vital, this is becoming a real option to consider. I’d love to hear comments from pioneers looking at this area for accelerating timelines for new FMCG launches.

Pictured are the panel speakers: Jon Walker, Kevin Slattery and Pat McCusker, along with moderator Gail Holmberg

Key take-aways from the panel discussion on the outlook for M&A deal markets included:
* Frothy valuations will continue, likely through the election
* Diligence on quality assets is more challenging today in our seller’s market
* Family offices are growing in relevance with private company sales

Pictured are panelists Nathan Moeri, Mike Osborne and Andrew Wiechkoske, with Lenny Dacanay moderating