The atmosphere was upbeat at the 2002 spring meeting of Omni Corporate Services Ltd. Inc., held at the Marriott Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Ariz., in February. The 680 attendees from 154 companies represented about 90% of the purchasing power of the group.

Robert Hoff, president of the buying group, shared the results of a business conditions survey conducted with Omni members. More than half said their total sales had increased in the past six months. The sales increase averaged 11% among members from the five regions. However, about a third reported a decrease in sales and the average decrease was 9%.

For the next six months, 51% projected total sales will increase, 36% said sales would stay flat and 14% said sales would decline.

Below are some highlights of the survey results. The percentage is the average of responses from members in all five regions. Here is what they said about the past six months:

  • New construction: increased - 19%; stayed flat - 35%; decreased - 34%.

  • Commercial business: increased - 26%; stayed flat - 34%; decreased - 25%.

  • Inventories: increased - 26%; stayed flat - 35%; decreased - 42%.

    Here is what Omni members projected for the next six months:

  • New construction: will increase - 31%; stay flat - 42%; will decrease - 19%.

  • Commercial business: will increase - 31%; stay flat - 48%; will decrease - 16%.

  • Inventories: will increase - 18%; stay flat - 54%; will decrease - 27%.

"This was one of the largest meetings we have had and by all indications a tremendous success," Hoff said. "The key to our growth in the last five years has been implementation of a participation policy which offers added incentives to members who buy from our supporting vendors. The volume of business being done through Omni and its vendors has tripled since 1996."