Frost & Sullivan Research Service   Published: 2 Sep 2004
U.S. Industrial Non-Disposable Protective Gloves Markets - An End-User Analysis
   Research Overview

End User Insights Reveal Potential in New Markets

Participants in the non-disposable industrial gloves markets are desperately seeking ways to breathe new life into this largely commoditized industry. Without proper end-user perspectives, suppliers run the risk of focusing more on supply chain management and less on customer needs and problems. There is, therefore, an urgent need to re-examine the market from the viewpoint of the end user. Frost & Sullivan’s analysis reveals that the service sectors are now being considered as the new areas of opportunity for product diversification, technological advancement, market development, and greater profitability.

This Frost & Sullivan research provides market participants with critical end-user insight from five major industrial sectors: petrochemical/refining, heavy manufacturing, aerospace/defense, electronics, and chemicals. Apart from examining end-user preferences in suppliers (including manufacturers and distributors), the study also includes historical reflections on the past numbers of glove wearers and expenditures, and a seven-year projection of numbers of wearers and expenditures.

At the End of the Day, Quality Wins Over Price

With hardly any actual domestic manufacturers left in the market, the competition is largely between participants that are importing gloves from cheaper manufacturing countries and their erstwhile ‘distributors’ who, themselves, are also independently importing product lines. This has created a situation wherein companies are desperately vying with one another to offer the lowest possible product prices. Despite this, end users appear to prioritize the safety and quality of the products over price issues.

"Frost & Sullivan’s end-user analysis revealed that the quality of products offered as well as their price was universally rated among the companies' highest priorities," says the analyst of this research. "This is further indicative that although price is important, end users are unwilling to buy inferior products, regardless of the varieties that are offered to them."

Niche Markets Hold Significant Promise

Until recently, the major end users of non-disposable industrial gloves were in manufacturing and industrial facilities, transportation sectors, and utilities. These segments, which predominantly use general purpose gloves, currently represent an area of market saturation, slender margins, and decreasing revenue. "The stimulus to offer innovative product lines is, therefore, seen as originating from fresh applications in new industries utilizing superior materials," notes the analyst. "Only then can a company hope to differentiate itself from the sea of competition and survive."

This is compelling companies to explore opportunities in areas such as hazardous material (HazMat) handling, electronics, pharmaceuticals, biotech, food processing, and others. The potential for profitability is, therefore, greater in these areas, particularly for specialty chemical/liquid resistant and cut and abrasion resistant gloves.

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   Benefits of this Service

Analyzes Major Product/Material Trends

Trends analyses of the markets for non-disposable industrial work gloves reveal valuable information on various industries' preferences for certain types of hand protection over others. Being able to identify changes in industry-specific hazards protection is crucial in targeting emerging new product and market penetration opportunities. These analyses are expected to be an excellent product development and marketing tool, highlighting market clutter and the positioning gaps that remain to be exploited.

Offers Useful Insights into the 'Blurring' of Supplier/Distributor Roles

Domestic 'manufacturers' have actually become 'importers' of commoditized product lines who increasingly find themselves competing for shelf space with their 'distributors', who themselves are also importing, sometimes from the same foreign suppliers. This analysis contains invaluable perspectives from both sides in rethinking traditional roles about who actually is better equipped to service end-user markets.

Discusses Exciting New Product Possibilities that Promise to Revitalize a Mature Market

The tremendous need for new and innovative products represents excellent opportunities for existing and emerging market participants. The growing service sector demands new and more technologically advanced products to protect against its particular hazards. The research looks at the opportunities available in these new markets that are awaiting newly designed, multi-purpose hand protection utilizing advances in more lightweight, flexible, and durable materials.

Examines the Revenue Potential of Niche Markets

Increased foreign competition and product maturity are forcing suppliers to expand into niche industries such as food processing, pulp & paper manufacturing, and hazardous materials handling. At a time when traditional heavy industry is in decline and labor-intensive jobs are being outsourced to cheaper-wage locales, this identification of and capitalization on new sectors' needs is imperative for anyone wishing to remain a participant in the non-disposable industrial gloves market.

Provides Strategies to Subdue the Threat of Shrinking Margins and Maintain Growth

Gloves manufacturers, foreign and domestic, have been facing an increasingly competitive market for over a decade. The pending elimination of the last few remaining quotas and tariffs on foreign imports is unlikely to ease price slides and diminishing margins. This research addresses how the major industry participants are adapting to meet this and many other challenges facing them.

   Market Sectors

Expert Frost & Sullivan analysts thoroughly examine the following market sectors in this research:

  • Petrochemical / Refining
  • Heavy Manufacturing
  • Aerospace / Defense
  • Electronics
  • Chemicals
   Analyst Presentation

Click here to view the analyst presentation:

F105 presentation.ppt







  Table Of Contents

1. Executive Summary
        1. Overview
                1. Content

2. Introduction
        1. Overview
                1. Analysis Categories

3. Profile of Demand
        1. Demographics of the Market
                1. Type of Sectors
                2. Company Variables- Size and Share of Glove Users

4. Customers' Requirements and Buying Behavior
        1. Key Purchasing Criteria - Drivers and Restraints
                1. Drivers
                2. Restraints
        2. Customer Purchasing Criteria
                1. Preferred Methods of Ordering
                2. Product Purchasing Criteria
                3. Customer Service Criteria
                4. Supplier Related Criteria
        3. Suppliers and Product Offerings
                1. Glove Suppliers / Brands Most Familiar With
                2. Suppliers and Product Offerings
        4. Distributor Selection Criteria
                1. Evaluation of Distributor Selection Criteria

5. Investment Patterns
        1. Glove Wearer Trends
                1. Percentages of Companies Indicating Glove Wearer Changes Over the Past 5 Years
                2. Reasons For the Numbers of Glove Wearers Staying the Same For the Past 5 Years
                3. Percentages of Companies Predicting Glove Wearer Changes Over the Next 7 Years
                4. Reasons for Number of Glove Wearers Predicted to Remain the Same For the Next 7 Years
        2. Glove Expenditure Trends
                1. Total Average Annual Glove Expenditures vs. General Purpose
                2. Total Average Annual Glove Expenditures vs. Chemical/Cut & Abrasion/Thermal
                3. Preference Criteria in Choice of Rubber vs. Nitrile Gloves
                4. Percentages of Companies Indicating Glove Expenditure Changes Over the Past 5 Years
                5. Reasons for Glove Expenditures Staying the Same For the Past 5 Years
                6. Percentages of Companies Predicting Glove Expenditure Changes Over the Next 7 Years
                7. Reasons For Glove Expenditures Predicted to Remain the Same For the Next 7 Years
                8. Average Percentages of PPE Expenditures Devoted to Gloves
                9. Percentages of Companies Purchasing Other PPE Products

6. Strategic Conclusions
        1. List of Key Findings
                1. Key Strategic Findings
                2. SWOT Analysis
                3. Critical Success Factors
                4. Key Strategic Priorities
                5. Industrial Sector Analysis

7. Frost & Sullivan's Customer Service Leadership Award in the Non-Disposable Industrial Glove Industry
        1. The 2004 Customer Service Leadership Award
                1. The 2004 Customer Service Leadership Award

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