NFPA Customer Technology Trends Reports – Building Strength with Each Round

A few years ago, NFPA’s Marketing Committee reached an impasse. The Committee and a series of workgroups had done a lot of good work, defining the advantages and disadvantages of, and the selling points for, hydraulics and pneumatics for a series of key markets.

But we had run up against the question of what to do next. Our stated objective was to improve the perception of fluid power in key markets. We put a lot of time and effort into a few things, such as using the Committee’s work to create ads and articles for targeted placement in trade publications and using a freelance writer to produce articles highlighting the advantages discussed by the Committee.

Nonetheless, we weren’t having the desired effect…there are too many markets. Focusing even on one or two requires a larger sustained effort than we could muster.

It was time to do something different, so we threw the towel, gathered our senses, and came out of the corner with…Customer Technology Trends reports.

The idea behind Customer Technology Trends is to focus-in closer to NFPA’s core capabilities of gathering information and making it usable for members, as well as to provide members with information and tools to carry their own stronger message to market. In doing so, we indirectly help change perceptions of fluid power while providing a more direct benefit to members.

Each year we come out with a new round of Customer Technology Trends reports.  You can find them all at

Round One, in 2013, was pneumatics in packaging machinery and hydraulics in mining and oil & gas markets. The packaging study was well received, but we got beaten up a bit on the other.

Round Two, in 2014, was pharmaceutical processing and packaging for pneumatics, and construction machinery for hydraulics. We did better, but still took a few lumps on the construction piece. Some liked it and some didn’t.

Round Three, in 2015, is entirely new and looks at the impact of using variable speed drives with hydraulics and the competitiveness of hydraulics across industrial markets. We encourage you to take a look at this latest report. We need your feedback…just keep your thumbs tucked and aim above the belt.

We’re gathering ourselves now for Round 4. We need to decide what market(s) to focus on and find an appropriate research firm. Send ideas to We may have a few stumbles, but we’re bringing better Customer Technology Trends reports out of the corner each year.

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