About Gardner Intelligence

Gardner Intelligence has been developing and delivering market intelligence to industrial manufacturing for nearly 50 years. Just like parent company Gardner Business Media, Gardner Intelligence helps manufacturing companies learn, plan, and perform at higher levels.

Gardner Intelligence’s annual Capital Spending Survey, monthly Gardner Business Index, and Media Usage in Manufacturing study are three of the most unique and widely-leveraged business insight reports in durable goods manufacturing.

Recently, Gardner Intelligence has developed new custom research capabilities that deliver a data-driven advantage for making informed, impactful business decisions related to sales, marketing, inventory and management.

More than just forecasting, Gardner Intelligence produces quantitative and qualitative insight into sales, marketing, operations and business management.

The following are some of our currently available reports:

Gardner Business Index

The Gardner Business Index (GBI) is a diffusion index measuring month-to-month changes in activity at durable goods and discrete parts manufacturing facilities.

World Machine Tool Survey

An independent annual survey that collects statistics from machine tool consuming and producing countries and compares them in real U.S. dollars.

Top Shops

‘Top Shops’ is a benchmarking and recognition program designed to help shops build their business. Data is collected across categories including operations, technology, business strategy, and human resources. Select measures are scored and summed to total scores that serve as the basis for honoring certain shops as ‘Top Shops.’

Capital Spending Survey

An annual survey that collects statistics regarding budgeted spending on machine tools, testing equipment, software and more that are then projected across the metalworking industry based on plant size.

Our Services

In addition to our ongoing, foundational reports, Gardner Intelligence offers forecasting, consulting, benchmarking, modeling and custom research.

Our data is regularly cited/used by:

  • Global capital equipment suppliers
  • Major manufacturing associations, including:
    • CECIMO (European Association of Machine Tool Builders)
    • Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT)
    • JMTBA (Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association)
    • KOMMA (Korean Machine Tool Builders’ Association)
    • TAMI (Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry)
    • TMBA (Taiwan Machine and Accessory Builders’ Association)
  • Leading publications including the Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune
  • Mish Talk - regularly cited as one of the best and most widely read economics blogs

Gardner Intelligence economists are invited speakers at leading business events like:

  • AMT's Global Marketing and Forecasting Conference (since 2008)
  • SwissMem’s Master Symposium (Swiss Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Society)
  • TAITRA’s Machine Tool Outlook Conference (Taiwan External Trade Development Council)
  • Sales and strategy meetings for:
    • Global capital equipment suppliers (machine tools, cutting tools, plastics processing equipment, etc.)
    • International investor groups covering manufacturing

Custom Research

Gardner Intelligence can collaborate directly with you to develop programs that reveal insights on technology, business practices/operations, advertising, and competition.

Questions we address include...

What are the gaps and developing trends that call for existing and/or new technology?

What are the short and long term business expectations and why?

What ‘works’ and doesn’t as far as marketing and advertising?

What are the perceptions of your company vs. competition*?
*blinded as appropriate

Gardner Intelligence will structure custom research that fully meets your needs, including timing and budget.

Custom Modeling

In 2016, Gardner Intelligence leveraged new analytics, forecasting and survey analysis tools – including statistical software and data from Moody’s Analytics - to build a model that proved 96% accurate in predicting the last 6 months of U.S. machine tool orders. Using these capabilities, Gardner can inform clients about the significant economic and survey metrics critical to your business performance.

Meet Our Team

Steven Kline, Jr.

Chief Data Officer

Steven Kline, Jr. has been providing financial analysis and economic forecasts for Gardner Publications, Inc. (publisher of Products Finishing) since 2005. While he has a degree in civil engineering from Vanderbilt University and a MBA with an emphasis on finance from the University of Cincinnati, Steven views forecasting as more of an art than a science. Therefore, his analysis focuses on trends between different data sets to determine where the economy (and, more importantly, the metalworking industry) may be headed.

Michael Guckes

Chief Economist

Michael has 15 years of experience in forecasting and modeling using advanced statistical techniques. He has successfully applied his expertise at multi-billion dollar companies in the construction, banking and insurance fields. Michael received his BA in Economics and Political Science from Kenyon College and his MBA from The Ohio State University.

Jan Schafer

Director of Market Research

Jan has expertise in primary, secondary, quantitative and qualitative research and analysis. She spent 15 years at Procter & Gamble where she led market research for a number of brands as well as the global media department. Her business knowledge and skills were broadened working with a variety of clients as a research consultant and for research suppliers. Jan received a BA in Psychology from Purdue University and an MBA from Indiana University.

Brian Palmer

Director of Data Science

Dr. Palmer earned his Ph.D. in Biophysics and Masters in Biostatistics from The Ohio State University and has been building cutting-edge statistical models for nearly 20 years in both academia and industry. Before joining Gardner Intelligence as Director of Data Science, Dr. Palmer was an essential statistical consultant on a team that helped guide one of the country’s largest banks by employing leading-edge financial modeling and forecasting as mandated by the Federal Reserve following the financial crisis. After successfully completing this work, Dr. Palmer moved on to the development of advanced statistical models and tools including emerging robust machine learning approaches to help the nation’s largest bank in detecting money laundering. Dr. Palmer has addressed challenging analytical issues in numerous arenas requiring rigorous statistical techniques such as random forests and elastic net modeling, multivariate regression, Bayesian approaches, Monte Carlo simulations, resampling techniques including bootstrapping, and other statistical techniques.

Will Thackery

Data Visualization Specialist

Will received his BS in mathematics in 2016 from Centre College, where he also studied glassblowing, computer science, and economics. He is a new addition to the team, and looks forward to using his experience as an analyst at Maxymiser to contribute to Gardner.

Mike Shirk

Market Research Associate

Mike received a BA in Public & Urban Affairs from Virginia Tech, focusing on demographic analysis and geographic information systems. He has diverse experiences in market research, databases and project management garnered from industries spanning real estate development to parks and recreation. Mike is narrowing his focus and applying these cultivated skills with Gardner Intelligence.