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Manufacturers staying competitive in recession

BY DEBBIE BLOSSOM Published: November 15, 2009

"They are scrambling for work today,” he said, as larger firms have cut back.

Although manufacturing has taken a recessionary hit, the months ahead "could be a perfect storm for a comeback,” said Tulsa money manager Jake Dollarhide.

Low interest rates, easier access to financing and a large talent pool, including those laid off from manufacturing firms, all will be available when hiring rebounds, Dollarhide said.

The state’s top manufacturers, such as Orchids Paper Products, "will find a way to differentiate their products,” he said. Orchids Paper, which produces bathroom tissue, paper towels and napkins and sells them to retailers for their private-label brands, has taken advantage of consumers’ switch to lower-priced merchandise. "Paper is a hot commodity again,” he said.

Peters said manufacturers have become more efficient through streamlining production and implementing lean strategies, but a key to success for many is the price of natural gas and oil.


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